AmSAT Annual Conference
Eve Bernfeld completed Ilana Machover’s Eutokia training in 2012 and doula training with Mother Tree in Portland in 2013. In 2014, she gave birth to triplets. She has worked with many pregnant and postpartum pupils and their partners, as well as doulas and midwives. Her essay “Pressure, Pain and Parenting” won second prize in the 2017 Mouritz Award for writing on the Alexander Technique and was published in the AmSAT Journal. Also in 2017, she presented a talk entitled “Preventing Back Pain in Pregnancy” at the Oregon Midwifery Conference, then collaborated with Hive Midwifery Education to create a course on the content. She recently facilitated a story circle on breastfeeding stories and she blogs frequently about applying the Alexander Technique to parenting.
Rachel Bernsen has been teaching Alexander Technique since 2008. In 2020 she relocated to Windsor, VT from New Haven, CT where she had a studio and private practice for twelve years, teaching locally at The Neighborhood Music School, Sarah Aldrich Pilates, The Educational Center for the Arts performing arts high school, Yale University, and Yale School of Music Morse Summer Music Academy, among others. Since moving to VT she has taught at Dartmouth College, Open Door Integrative Wellness Center and has a private practice in White River Junction. She is currently an AmSAT board member-at-large.
Rachel trained at the American Center for the Alexander Technique (ACAT) in NYC. She holds an MFA in Dance from Tisch School of the Arts, NYU. She is working toward certification in the Art of Breathing with Jessica Wolf. In addition to her dance and improvisation practice, Rachel is an avid student of Feldenkrais ATM and Iyengar Yoga. As a performer and choreographer, she has worked with a diverse array of artists and traveled around the globe. rachelbernsenat.com For more about her dance practice visit rachelbernsen.com
Kitty Breen gained an understanding of back pain and developed teaching applications as a means to overcome her own back pain, which began with a life-altering car accident in 1980. Kitty began her Alexander studies with Charlotte Coe in 1985. She also studied with Jerry Sontag, and then trained with Ed and Linda Avak (Carrington), graduating in 1992. She did significant postgraduate work with Charlotte Coe, and Carrington-trained teachers: Walter and Dyllis Carrington, Ruth Murray, Alan Philps and John Nicholls. Kitty credits and is grateful to the Technique and her teachers for helping her regain her life after several serious accidents.
In 1999, Kitty founded the Alexander Center for Back and Chronic Pain located in Cambridge, MA, to similarly help others. In 2003, she created The Educated Back™, an Alexander curriculum targeted to back pain to accelerate and deepen recovery. It has worked! The primary course of this curriculum, "Back To Basics™" featured an introductory class called “Freedom from Back Pain” that was taught to sold-out audiences for over 14 years at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education in Cambridge, Ma. Kitty has taught internationally as a visiting teacher and offered previous workshops at AGMs and International Congresses; She also wrote the chapter “Teaching to Back Pain” for the 2008 Congress Papers. Kitty is grateful to Corinna Trabucco who has generously agreed to assist Kitty in modeling some of the techniques and activities we will be showing online.
Jane Dorlester is a psychotherapist and certified Alexander Technique teacher with extensive experience in individual and group counseling. She received her training at the Center for Character Analytic Studies and the Brooklyn Institute of Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. She also has a certificate from Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute. She has been in private practice as a therapist for over 30 years. Jane's desire to work with both individuals and groups comes from a long-held professional belief in the value of body-oriented therapeutic work and group environments for finding safe and effective ways to heal.
Matthew Dubroff has been a student of the Alexander Technique since 1988. He received his training from Daria Okugawa at the ATTC-VA training course in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2002. He is a professor of Theatre at Hampden-Sydney College and specializes in Asian Theatre. Dubroff is a founding member of Theatre Nohgaku, a troupe dedicated to bringing noh theatre to English-speaking audiences. He is a teacher of the Wu Style of Tai Ji. Dubroff has been on the Board of AmSAT for several years and is currently the Chair.
Lisa First is an American Society of the Alexander Technique (AmSAT) certified instructor of the Alexander Technique and served four years on the AmSAT board of directors. She currently lives in Raleigh, North Carolina where she teaches private and group lessons in the Alexander Technique. Lisa teaches nationally and abroad. She completed her three-year training at the Alexander Institute of Boston in 1992.
Lisa has a BA from Antioch College in Dance and Visual Arts and an MA from Wesleyan University in Dance and Movement Studies.
Lisa is the founder and executive director of Link Vostok East/West International Dance Exchange and brought more than five hundred professional artists from around the world to international festivals and projects that she directed in Russia and the United States.
In the performing arts, Lisa has extensive experience working with musicians, dancers and actors. She teaches students of all ages and greatly enjoys sharing the Alexander Technique with diverse populations. She has taught the Alexander Technique at The University of North Carolina Charlotte and Greensboro, Dance Departments; Alexander Technique for Parkinson's, The Poise Project (Charlotte); Santa Monica College, Santa Monica, CA; The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA; Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN; The University of Minnesota; McPhail Center for Music; Northwest College of Health Sciences; The Northern Clay Center; The Yoga Center in Minneapolis, MN; St. Paul Athletic Club; The Center for Spirituality and Healing, University of Minnesota; and The Edina Spalon Montage, among others. She has also presented workshops on working with horses and riders.
Lisa has a special interest in working with the physically challenged, especially people with Multiple Sclerosis and other chronic health issues. She has shared the Alexander Technique at Open Door Dance Studio with Inspire Inclusion Dance for Disabled and Nondisabled teens and young adults, Charlotte, N.C.; Zenon Dance, Minneapolis, MN; Struthers Parkinson's Center, the Shapiro Center for Multiple Sclerosis and in the Minneapolis public school system (Clara Barton Open School, South High School, Benjamin Banneker) and through Minneapolis Community Education after school and Adult Education programs.
Lisa has taught in Amsterdam, Holland at the Alexander Technique Centre and at the Duncan Center in Prague, the Czech Republic. She has taught workshops in the Alexander Technique at the St. Petersburg Conservatory and at Kannon Dance in St. Petersburg, Russia; Saira Blanche Theatre and the Schepkin Theatre School in Moscow and at the Pedagogical Institute in Yaroslavl where she has worked with artists and community members. She has taught privately in Berlin, Germany, Riga, Latvia and Yaroslavl, Kostroma, Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia.
She has a special interest since the Covid-19 pandemic in Classical Ballet (Corvino Ballet and Open Door Dance Foundation and director Jacqueline White), Erick Hawkins Dance Technique (Cynthia Reynolds and Judith Howard) and the work of Tamar Rogoff Performance Productions. Lisa helped produce Tamar Rogoff's award-winning film A Plague on All our Houses during the Pandemic in NYC and currently enjoys her Body Scripting classes.
Diane Gaary has a passionate interest in human expressiveness and how mind and body use affect the speaking and singing voice. She holds teacher certification in the Alexander Technique, The Lessac System of Voice and Body Training, and The Feldenkrais Method®. She is also an Estill Voice Master Teacher™. Diane’s training also includes classical singing, numerous theatrical voice and speech techniques, an MFA in Acting, and two years of graduate-level speech pathology. Diane teaches at Temple University, Arcadia University, and Westminster Choir College. Diane’s students have performed extensively on Broadway, in Regional Theatre, in film and television, and in major opera houses such as The Metropolitan Opera, The New York City Opera, and La Scala. She maintains a studio for private students both online and in-person in Ardmore, PA.
Lena Hart was introduced to the Alexander Technique through an acting class, and after finding that its uses included more freedom of physicality, spontaneity, and thought, she was hooked for life! She specializes in teaching performers, retirees, techies, and those living with Parkinson’s Disease. She is constantly surprised at how applicable the technique is — from lifting heavy things to dealing with chronic pain, balance issues, or mastering high-performance activities. Helping others use the technique to make their lives more effortless and enjoyable is her life’s mission.
Molly Johnson, PhD draws on an eclectic background that integrates kinesiology, music, dance, and swimming expertise into her Alexander Technique practice. An Alexander Technique instructor since 2001, Molly also completed her Shaw Method aquatics training in 2013. She received a PhD in Neuroscience and Behavior in 2010 from the University of Massachusetts with a research focus on human motor control and biomechanics related to posture and coordination. Molly continues to explore science and research as a graduate kinesiology instructor at the University of the Incarnate Word and a research scientist with the Dell Children’s Trauma and Injury Research Center. Molly is the training director of the Alexander Training Center - Austin.
Ruth Kilroy graduated in 1984 from the MacDonald School in London and has been teaching in Boston—including postgraduate seminars—ever since. In 1993, Ruth opened the Alexander Teacher Training Center, which continues to run as a full-time teacher training program. She has collaborated with Master Teacher Rivka Cohen for over 20 years. Ruth continues to hold master classes internationally, including Germany, Spain, Israel, Canada, Australia, and throughout the US.
Paula Negrelli studied classic ballet during childhood for more than 10 years and studied in a Drama school in 2003 in Brazil, which is where she first experienced the Alexander Technique. She worked in the Dance Therapy field and had the opportunity to study dance therapy, theater and somatic therapies in Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Spain and the United States. Paula completed her Master’s Degree in San Diego, and her thesis topic was “The effectiveness of a multidisciplinary approach in treating chronic pain.” In 2006, she started to have Alexander Technique lessons with Alice Olsher and then decided to do the teacher training program with her in San Diego, CA.
As a dancer, Paula always had a deep interest for the therapeutic use of dance and movement using a somatic education approach. She started working in the clinical setting in 2011 and she's been working in the Institutes of Health since 2018, using expressive arts (ART FLOW PATTERNS) and therapeutic movement along with the Alexander Technique.
Alice Olsher trained with Walter and Dilys Carrington, certified 1990, and taught with the Carringtons for fifteen years. Alice has always been interested in working with pregnant women and children. Many times in London, Alice began the work with pregnant women and then sent them on to Ilana Machover, who had been doing this work through childbirth for many years.
In 2005, Alice moved back to California where she had grown up, continued teaching, and began training teachers herself. In 2016, Alice took the 30-hour Eutokia training with Ilana and continued to work with pregnant women as part of her teaching practice.
In England, Alice has been involved in STAT since her qualification, serving eight years on the Training Course Committee and Professional Conduct Committee. And then in AmSAT since 2006, she has given workshops at ACGMs. In 2017, Alice was Chair of the ACGM Committee, hosting in San Diego. In 2019, Alice was Mentor to Renee Schneider for the New York ACGM. She joined the Carrington team of teachers in Chicago at the International Alexander Technique Congress. She has worked with children, teens, and parents.
Currently Alice is teaching post-grad groups and performers groups, online and in person, as well as private lessons, also in person and online. Alice is also working in the health setting in a multidisciplinary workers compensation clinic.
Phyllis Richmond (M.AmSAT, M.STAT) certified at the Brighton Alexander Training Centre (John Nicholls) in 1991. A student of Tai Chi since 1998, she received teaching certification from the International Yang Style Martial Arts Association in Taiwan in 2013. Phyllis teaches in-person lessons in Evanston, IL and online sessions on Zoom; she also offers workshops and courses for universities and professional programs. A former journalist, she was the Editor of AmSAT News/AmSAT Journal from 2005-2017. She received AmSAT's Distinguished Service Award in 2012.
Ann Rodiger is the Founder and Director of the Balance Arts Center in New York City. She directs the BAC AT Teacher Training Course, teaches private lessons, produces courses, and offers AT application courses. She has AT students in Antwerp, Athens, Berlin, and Istanbul. She has a Masters degree in Dance from the Ohio State University and is a certified Labanotator
Ruth Rootberg loves the creative, problem-solving part of finding new ways to help her students. She also loves to write about the AT: “Handing the Experience to the Pupil: the Role of the Hands in Alexander Technique Teaching” (AmSAT Journal 2019); Living the Alexander Technique: Interviews with Nine Senior Teachers (2015) and Living the Alexander Technique, Volume II: Aging with Poise (2018). Ruth has volunteered for AmSAT since her training days and is currently on the AmSAT Board, the Membership Committee, and the AdHoc Committee to update the Member Handbook. She is the 2017 recipient of the AmSAT Distinguished Service Award. Ruth lives and teaches in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Ruth studied Eutokia with Ilana Machover in 2016. She loves to write about the Alexander Technique: “Handing the Experience to the Pupil: the Role of the Hands in Alexander Technique Teaching” (AmSAT Journal 2019); Living the Alexander Technique: Interviews with Nine Senior Teachers (2015) and Living the Alexander Technique, Volume II: Aging with Poise (2018). Ruth has volunteered for AmSAT since her training days and is currently on the AmSAT Board, the Membership Committee, and the AdHoc Committee to update the Member Handbook. She is the 2017 recipient of the AmSAT Distinguished Service Award. Ruth lives and teaches in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Pyeng Threadgill is an American vocalist, songwriter, writer, video artist as well as a voice and movement teacher. As a vocalist/performer she creates what she calls New Porch Music, a form based on the traditions of Black American Folk, Soul, Jazz and improvisational music. She uses these traditions to create connected conversations whereby audiences may reflect on their own life stories and identities for healing and empowerment.Pyeng is a recipient of the NYFA award in Music Composition. She has performed with her own groups and as a featured guest at venues ranging from Montreal Jazz Festival to Rockwood Music Hall both nationally and internationally. As a teacher/mentor Pyeng has taught at California Jazz Conservatory, Jazz Camp West, the Balance Arts Center, NYU, the LoVetri Institute for Somatic Voicework and others while maintaining her private voice and movement studio in Brooklyn, NY. Ms Threadgill is currently writing her first book, later to be released with a companion album, on the power of finding one’s voice.
Misako Tsuchiya was born and raised in Japan and later immigrated to the United States in 1981, where she has been dedicating herself for over 30 years to community advocacy work within the Japanese community, through Native ceremony, studying and teaching Alexander Technique and Tai Chi/Qi Gong, and guiding others in deepening their relationship to themselves and Mother Earth. Misako’s curious nature and openness to asking the how’s and why’s of life have unfolded a path for her to discover and understand the humanity that links us all together. This led her to teaching and working alongside people from all communities and backgrounds such as performance artists, incarcerated people at high-risk detention centers, those healing and recovering from drug addiction, dentists and hygienists, the unhoused at Skid Row, and the elderly. This year marks her 30th year supporting the healing of the Japanese community from having organized the “250 Mile Little Tokyo to Manzanar Spiritual Unity and Prayer Run.”
The spiritual guidance and teachings of Nagao Sensei and the Japanese Healing Arts of Noguchi Setai inform Misako’s work as a teacher. In addition, her study of Reichian Therapy helped her realize that she had been holding onto so much trauma from the past, and that she could find a lot of life’s answers within herself. Throughout all of her 45 years of study of Tai Chi with various martial arts teachers, it was her Sifu Marvin Quon, an Internal martial arts teacher, who guided her in strengthening her practice and learning the authentic, deeper, and more scientific approach to Tai Chi and Qi Gong.
Throughout all of her teaching experiences and all of the communities she has had the privilege to build with, Misako has come to understand that her role as a teacher is not to teach from just a place of technique and traditional knowledge, but from a true foundation of love. It is through love for the self, love for others, and love for Mother Earth that we can create a more balanced and harmonious world.
Luc Vanier (MFA, MAMSAT) is the Founding Director of the School of Dance at the University of Utah. He received his MFA from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, was certified as an Alexander Technique teacher in 2001 and became a training course Director in 2011. A Principal Dancer and company choreographer with Ohio Ballet, he danced pivotal roles in the works of company founder Heinz Poll, Balanchine, Paul Taylor, Kurt Jooss, Lynne Taylor-Corbett and Laura Dean, among others. His choreography has been produced at the Joyce Theater in New York City and toured nationally. Vanier has lectured and presented his research extensively nationally and internationally and his co-authored book Dance and the Alexander Technique was published by University of Illinois Press in 2011 (also translated into Spanish in Fall of 2021 with Pequeña Hoja Press). In 2012, he founded the Integral Movement Lab, which combines the Alexander Technique and developmental ideas within product and curriculum designs. He co-created Framework for Integration, a movement analysis system anchored in the way babies and animals move that helps all movers make new, healthier movement decisions and encourages more coordinated and integrated bodily use. Luc is convinced of his responsibility to interrogate our physical practices in order to not habitually duplicate racist/sexist perspectives. He recently co-authored a chapter, “The Subtle Dance of Developmental Self-Awareness with New Media Technologies,” published with the Presse University du Quebec (PUQ) and in Spring 2021, a new book chapter, ‘Ballet aesthetics of trauma, development and functionality” was published in the book (Re)Claiming Ballet with Intellect Press.