Riverside Initiative’s Guest Teachers
Malcolm Balk | Christopher Cherry | Dr. Rajal Cohen | Bill Connington | Joan Frost | Eva Karczag | Dr. Nancy Kennedy | Jane Kosminsky | Kathy Miranda | Dr. Elizabeth Eowyn Nelson | Betsy Polatin | Lori Schiff
Check out our Events page for upcoming dates that our esteemed guest teachers will be at the school.
Malcolm Balk MSTAT* qualified as an Alexander teacher with Patrick Macdonald in 1984. Originally attracted to the Technique because of major tension issues while playing the cello, Malcolm enjoys helping musicians and other performers develop better control and more freedom. He also likes to work with pupils with a wide range of physical and psychological issues. Malcolm is a well-known Level 4 running coach and still competes in his veteran category. (Age group Canadian half marathon champion in 2011 and 2012….never mind how old!) In 1991 he brought running and the Alexander Technique together when he developed the Art of Running workshops, which are enjoyed by runners all over the world. Malcolm Balk is the author of two books: Master the Art of Running and Master the Art of Working Out. See the publications page for more information.* MSTAT: Member of the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique
Christopher Cherry is the director of Studio 2C, a studio for the performing arts and the Alexander Technique. Chris has given Alexander lessons backstage at Lincoln Center, taught workshops at several colleges and universities, and consulted on productions in Washington and New York. He is a charter member of the faculty and has taught Alexander Technique for the past fourteen years at the Academy for Classical Acting, an intensive master’s degree program in classical acting offered by the Shakespeare Theatre Company through George Washington University. As a writer, composer, and lyricist, he has created ten musicals for family audiences, including Perseus and the Gorgon, Memory Quest In Central Park, and The School for Super-Heroes Presents Orlando Furioso, The Musical. Chris graduated from the Alexander Technique Center of Washington in 1998 and has pursued post-graduate study with Rose Bronec, John Nicholls, Joan and Alex Murray, and Nanette Walsh. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary and his master’s and law degrees from the University of Virginia.
Rajal G. Cohen, M.AmSAT, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and Communication Studies at the University of Idaho, affiliate faculty in the Department of Biological Sciences, and graduate faculty in the Human Factors graduate program. She has published over 20 peer-reviewed scientific articles and chapters on the role of cognitive factors in human movement and posture, which have been cited over 700 times in peer-reviewed scientific literature. Dr. Cohen’s research is dedicated to exploring the interconnectedness of thought, action, and posture. She trains M.S. and Ph.D. students in the Mind and Movement Lab . Dr. Cohen completed her Alexander Technique training in 1997 at the Virginia School for Alexander Technique. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wesleyan University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Psychology with a minor in Kinesiology from Penn State. Her graduate work focused on ways that we move less optimally than popular theories of motor control propose, because of cognitive limitations. She completed a four-year postdoctoral fellowship in the Balance Disorders Lab at Oregon Health & Science University, where she collaborated with leading experts in neurology, physical therapy, and brain imaging on projects related to posture, gait initiation, inhibitory control, Parkinson’s disease, and the neural connections between brain areas associated with so-called “higher functions” and those associated with so-called “lower functions.”
Bill Connington has devoted his career to helping performers–including Broadway actors, Metropolitan Opera singers, and renowned instrumentalists–manage their art through managing themselves. He also specializes in working with those with physical challenges, pain, and Parkinson’s Disease. The former chairman of the board of the American Center for the Alexander Technique, Bill is currently a lecturer in acting at the Yale School of Drama and has taught performers at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, the Julliard School, and the Actors Studio MFA Program. He is author of Physical Expression on Stage and Screen: Using the Alexander Technique to Create Unforgettable Performances. (Bloomsbury). Available on Amazon here.
Joan Frost has been involved in the movement field for over 30 years, earning her B.A. degree in Theater Arts: Dance from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1975, and her teaching certification from ACAT in 1983. She joined the ACAT faculty in 1984, and served as Director of Teacher Certification from 1994 to 1995, and from 2001 to 2008. Joan has taught the Alexander Technique at The Juilliard School, the Diller Quaille School of Music, Sarah Lawrence College and The New School. Joan maintains a private practice in Stratford, CT, Tappan, NY, and in Manhattan. Joan co-taught with Barbara Kent at the 2004 Oxford International Congress, “The Uncommitted Hand”; taught at AmSAT AGMs in Massachusetts and Illinois, workshops in non-doing in the use of the hands and bringing dance influence into AT teaching. She has been a speaker with The Arthritis Foundation since 2001 in hospitals in the Greater New York area. Joan pursued post graduate studies with Walter Carrington in New York and at his summer course in London; worked with Marjorie Barstow in Washington D.C., Philadelphia, New York City and in Lincoln, NE at residential workshops. Joan had a lesson with Patrick MacDonald; she has worked extensively with Rika Cohen, Nelly Benor, and Misha Magidov, and has had lessons with Elizabeth Walker and John Nicholls.
Eva Karczag is an independent dance artist and teacher. For the past four decades she has practiced, taught, and advocated for explorative methods of dance making. She performs solo and collaborative work internationally, many of her collaborations involving links across the arts. Her performance work and her teaching are informed by dance improvisation and mindful body practices, including the Alexander Technique (ACAT certified teacher), whose concepts, in particular, shape her methodology. She has been a member of leading groups in the field of experimental dance, including the Trisha Brown Dance Company, NY. She has taught dance at major colleges and studios, and the Alexander Technique on training programs, throughout the USA, Australia, and Europe. She has an MFA degree (Dance Research Fellow) from Bennington College, VT. Through her performing and teaching, she aims to communicate her love of full-bodied dancing and her interest in the practice of being in the moment.
Dr. Nancy Kennedy received her BA in Psychobiology from Ripon College, <and completed her PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Dr. Kennedy did her clinical psychology internship at Curative Rehabilitation Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin and a 2-year fellowship in clinical neuropsychology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. After completing her fellowship, Dr. Kennedy joined the staff of the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center (CNADC) at Northwestern Medical School where she worked for 16 years. While at the CNADC, Dr. Kennedy was the director of the data core of the federally funded Alzheimer’s disease center and published over 30 peer-reviewed articles in the areas of dementia and aging. Dr. Kennedy also directed over 15 clinical trials in dementia, mild cognitive impairments, and cognitive changes with aging. Since June, 2011, Dr. Kennedy has been working full-time in Wisconsin doing private practice, clinical trials of medications for Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders, and inpatient rehabilitation consultation. Her outpatient practice includes patients with dementia, as well as patients with other neurobehavioral disorders such as head injury, learning disability, and stroke. She also teaches online for Ashford University and is one of the 3 full-time faculty in the newly developed Master’s of Science program in Psychology. She has developed the Neurological Bases of Behavior course in the Master’s program and teaches Physiological Psychology in the undergraduate college. In the past year, Dr. Kennedy returned to Northwestern Medical School part-time and currently sees patients in the Neurobehavioral Clinic one day per week.
Jane Kosminsky b. Jersey City, New Jersey. Dance Award Winner, School of Performing Arts, 1960. B.A. language and literature, CCNY. Graduate, The American Center for the Alexander Technique. Has performed with the May O’Donnell, Tamiris-Nagrin and Norman Walker Dance companies. Soloist, Norman Walker Company, 1960-65. Soloist, Paul Taylor Dance Company, 1965-71; has toured extensively in U.S., Europe and Asia. Co-artistic director (with Bruce Becker) and principal dancer of 5 by 2 Plus, a modern dance repertory company, 1971-82. Restaged Paul Taylor’s Aureole for productions of Nureyev and Friends and appeared as Mr. Nureyev’s partner, Paris, 1974; London, 1976; Madrid,1978. Has choreographed plays for The Juilliard School, Off-Broadway, and Theater Row. Director of Dance, 92nd Street Y, 1986-1988. Faculty, The Neighborhood Playhouse, since 1988. Faculty, The American Center for the Alexander Technique Teacher Training Program, since 1986. The Juilliard School drama faculty, 1971-86. Dance faculty since 1986 teaching Alexander Technique for dancers. Member of the American Society for the Alexander Technique (AmSAT). In private practice in NYC. Has produced two pioneer videotapes for the general public about the Alexander Technique: First Lesson, An introduction to the Alexander Technique with William Hurt and Jane Kosminsky and Solutions for Back Trouble, A lesson with Deborah Caplan master teacher and physical therapist. Both were released in March 2000. Latest DVD — For Dancers, The Alexander Technique was released in the spring of 2005.
Kathryn M. Miranda is Director of Alexander Technique of Syracuse where her training course is currently on hiatus. She occasionally offers teacher refresher workshops and in her private practice, she works with performing artists, visual artists, health practitioners, regular folk and most currently a group of Somalian refugees. Along with Sydney Harris, Co-Director of ATI-LA, she presents her playful workshops at ACGMs and their article, Playing with Principles, will appear in the next AmSAT Journal.
Elizabeth Eowyn Nelson, PhD. is core faculty and Dissertation Policy Director at Pacifica Graduate Institute. She teaches a broad range of courses in research process, methodology, and dissertation development and lectures on somatic dreamwork, imagery, literature, and cultural studies. Her own research interests include personal, cultural, and mythic expressions of the shadow, gender, and power. Dr. Nelson is the author of two books, The Art of Inquiry: A Depth Psychological Perspective (Spring Publications, 2005, coauthored with Joseph Coppin) and Psyche’s Knife: Archetypal Explorations of Love and Power (Chiron, 2012). A professional writer and editor for more than 30 years, she coaches aspiring authors across a variety of genres and styles.
Betsy Polatin, MFA, SEP, is a Master Lecturer at Boston University’s College of Fine Arts, where she pioneered a four-year Acting/Alexander program for the acting conservatory. She is a graduate of two, three year AT certification courses, and has done extensive postgraduate studies. Her background includes forty years of movement education and performance, as well as training in music, acting, yoga, meditation, and the healing arts. Her work is greatly influenced by Carl Stough’s breathing coordination principles and Peter Levine’s somatic experiencing theory. In addition to Boston University, Betsy is on the faculty at the Opera Institute of Boston. She has also taught at: The Tanglewood Summer Music Program, Berklee College of Music, The Muscular Therapy Institute, National Association of Singing Teachers (NATS), Performing Arts Medicine Association (PAMA) and Boston Ballet through the Dance and Sports Medicine Clinic at Children’s Hospital run by renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. Lyle Micheli, M.D. Betsy has taught master classes to The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Children’s Hospital Physical Therapists, Cambridge Choir of England, Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy, The American Red Cross, Saint Francis Friary, and Yoga and Meditation centers. She has taught throughout the U.S., and the world, including India, Japan, England, Germany, Spain, and Korea. She has worked with many performing artists in theater, film, and music, including such luminaries as Rashida Jones, Ginnifer Goodwin, Andre Gregory, and John Denver. Betsy’s book, The Actor’s Secret, featured on ABC TV and Fox news, combines the principles of The Alexander Technique, Breathing Coordination, and Somatic Experiencing. As a breathing and movement specialist, she has had numerous articles published in the Huffington Post. Please visit: theactorssecretbook.com betsypolatin.com
Lori Schiff, M.AmSAT, Faculty The Julliard School, Aspen Music Festival and School, Internationale Meistersinger Akademie, Guest Teaching Artist New World Symphony. Ms. Schiff qualified at ACAT in 1987. She has introduced the Alexander Technique to groups and institutions across the country including Master Classes at The Metropolitan Opera, West Point Military Academy, The San Diego Symphony, Aspen Sports Medicine, AmSAT Meetings in San Fransisco, Ann Arbor, Las Vegas, and New York City, and was a guest speaker at The International Congress for the Alexander Technique in Lugano, Switzerland. More information and a link to her video, The Alexander Technique: Musician’s Method for Improvement can be found at www.lorischiff.com
Contact Riverside Initiative for the Alexander Technique