Riverside Initiative’s Guest Teachers
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.
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.
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.
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
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