Lori Schiff - Riverside Initiative for the Alexander Technique

betsy polatin teaching

Friday May 17th, 5:30-7:30
(Aligning in relation to space and matter by using the principles of the Alexander Technique, Wolfgang Weiser)

This practical workshop will provide you new ideas and experiences with respect to balance, co-ordination and movement. By investigating unfamiliar activities, participants have the opportunity to employ the Alexander Technique to educate their sense of balance. We will explore balancing on and off the ground, in accordance with the participants’ abilities and interests. Contact to sign up. On May18 and 19, Wolfgang will be teaching day long workshops in balance, teaching and TIGHTROPE walking! To learn more and register.

Fridays 11-12:30 pm  Saturdays  10-11:15 am – Riverside Initiative Clinic
Offering free and low cost Alexander work to the community. The clinic ran successfully last spring to enthusiastic community feedback. If you are interested in participating in the clinic please contact us.

Ongoing  Alexander Technique for Activists
RIAT faculty member Ariel Carson offers low-fee private Alexander Technique lessons for activists in Union Square. Discover sustainable support in your body-mind-spirit to help you stay revitalized and balanced in the face of great demands. Click here for more information, and to reserve a slot.

Summer 2018

Unsmudged Book Release Party – Lori Schiff and Joe Esposito hosted a standing room only, warm and enthusiastic celebration of RIAT director NanetteWalsh’s newly published book, “Unsmudged: An Encounter with Peggy Williams.”  To see more photos, read a sample and learn more about the book and how to purchase it:

Summer 2017

July 28th-30th – Nanette Walsh and Ariel Carson
Mindfulness in Action

Nanette Walsh and Ariel Carson will be hosted by the Shantigar Foundation this summer at their spectacularly beautiful old farm on a mountainside in Western Mass near Vermont. At Shantigar individuals come to learn from teachers of art and meditation, be nurtured and rejuvenated, and return to the world with a renewed sense of commitment.

Mindufulness in Action will offer practical experiences of AT: to foster freedom in thought and action; to live more fully in the present; to align the personal with the collective in being and becoming; and to cultivate hope for the future.

Action is born of intention. Our thoughts, feelings and intentions play essential roles in the ongoing dynamics of upright support upon which every breath and movement depend. Please join us in this beautiful place for a special weekend!

Where: Shantigar, 63 Davenport Road, Rowe, MA 01367
When: Friday, July 28 – Sunday, July 30
Fee: $522 for weekend, $470 if you register before June 1. Organic meals included. Some onsite lodging available, and free tenting
Register or

Spring 2017

May 23rd – 6-8pm – Dr. Rajal Cohen
Part III of Dr. Cohen’s workshop placing AT in a Scientific Context.
This workshop is intended as a continued series for RIAT trainees and affiliates, however outside guests may be able to join us if there is space. Email Ariel at for more info.

June 10th – 10:30am-1:30pmJane Kosminsky
Dance and the Alexander Technique
This hands-on workshop will cover the psychology of dancers, how the chair work relates to core concerns of dancers (e.g. alignment, pliés, tondus), and the relationship of walking to dance movement in space. Jane may also cover how our work can be used to translate corrections that a dancer may get in class.

This workshop will be for RIAT trainees and affiliates only. Email to register.

June 24th – RIAT Graduation!

Winter 2017

January 31st – 6-8pm – Dr. Rajal Cohen
One of the biggest obstacles to discussing the Alexander Technique in a scientific context is that for most of its existence, most of the central principles of the AT have been untested in relevant scientific fields. However, the last few decades have seen great strides in psychology, biomechanics, and neuroscience that make the gap easier to bridge. In this webinar, Dr. Cohen will discuss scientific advances and concepts that can provide useful insight and language for understanding and talking about the AT, such as: neural plasticity, inhibitory control, choice, attention, mirror neurons, body schema, axial tone, degrees of freedom, motor imagery, and the interconnection of cognitive and motor problems in Parkinson’s disease. She will present relevant data from her own research as well as other important published research findings. Although she will mention studies whose purpose was to show the effectiveness of the AT, the primary focus will be on studies that help us understand HOW the AT works. There will be some time for questions and interaction throughout.

Fee: $20 for RIAT affiliates, $25 for outside guests

If you would like to reserve your space email Ariel at by Tuesday, January 24th.

February 28th – 6-8pm –
Dr. Rajal Cohen
Part II of Dr. Cohen’s workshop placing AT in a Scientific Context.

Fee: $20 for RIAT affiliates, $25 for outside guests

If you would like to reserve your space email Ariel at by Friday, February 24th.

April 8th – 12:30-2pm – Lori Schiff
Teaching the Alexander Technique in Arts Institutions
Lori Schiff will talk with participants about her experiences teaching and developing the work in various arts institutions. Please come with questions and observations from your own experiences. Ms Schiff has worked in performing arts institutions since qualifying as an AT teacher in 1987. Read her full bio here.

Fee: $20 for RIAT affiliates, $40 for outside guests

If you would like to reserve your space email Ariel at by Saturday, April 1st.


Past events include:
Sept 21 – People’s Climate March
Sept 28 – Riverside Initiative Teachers Social
Oct 2 – 30 – A Healthy Dose of Tension and Release: Singing With the Alexander Technique with Emily Whyte
Oct 24 – Riverside Initiative Master the Art of Running Workshop with Malcolm Balk
Nov 17 – Eleanor Taylor presentation on teaching group classes as a new Alexander Technique teacher
Nov 25 – Training course field trip to Meredith Monk and vocal ensemble workshop at BAM.
Dec 1-15  ATyoga Holiday Series with Sheila Bandyopadhyay
Mar 9 – Apr 3 Alexander Technique for Singers and Actors with Eleanor Taylor
Feb 18 – Mar 11 – Gadget Class with Lindsay Newitter
Mar 12 – Presenting the Alexander Technique: Strategies and Technique with Lori Schiff
Mar 16 – Alexander Technique for Members and Allies of the LGBTQ Community with Ariel Carson
April 25th and May 23rd – RIAT Teacher Certification Program Sampler
April 30  The Actor’s Secret with Betsy Polatin
May 21 – Physical Expression on Stage and Screen: Using the Alexander Technique to Create Unforgettable Performances with Bill Connington
May 28 – Building a Practice with a panel of  Ariel Carson, Eleanor Taylor, and Emily Whyte
Oct 2 – Brain Zest with Dr. Nancy Kennedy
Oct 3 – Master the Art of Running with Malcolm Balk
Mar 16
–  Finding Playfulness in Learning with Kathy Miranda
Apr 9 – Master the Art of Running Workshop with Malcolm Balk
Apr 16 – Up Off Your Ankles! with Joan Frost

Check back for more events: faculty, guest teacher and affiliate workshops to be announced soon…

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Contact Riverside Initiative for the Alexander Technique