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Alexander Technique


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Does anyone have any experience with the Alexander technique? Does this work coincide with things we learn at the barre in terms of lifting and turn-out etc? I've found that there are classes on alignment alone and would like to hear people's impressions of them. Also, I would like to know any good references. Thanks.



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No, it's more to do with breathing. I tried to use the type dedicated for actors while dancing, and bloody near strangled. So, find a trainer that's experienced in the dancer modality of the technique and try that.

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I took a semesters worth of classes in the Alexander Technique from a person who is trained in this technique as well as being trained as a dancer. In my classes, we worked on movements and being aware of your body. We worked on how I walk up stairs, and I became more aware of how I tense my shoulders when I'm stressed. I think that the classes were very beneficial and have helped me to use my body better. I applied what I learned in these classes more to how I move when I'm not at the studio dancing. The AT helped me learn how to sit more comfortably in my car, and now I can drive for 3 hours at a time and not have a sore neck.

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I recently had my first Alexander lesson. It was a small group session focusing on the upper body. It was wonderful.


I can't directly compare the lesson to any other class I've had. It wasn't like yoga or dance classes. It wasn't like physical therapy. It wasn't like "new age" movement. And of course, reading about it without feedback from a teacher was not the same.


Instead, the movements were very subtle. It was about developing body awareness and intelligence.


We talked about anatomy and alignment. We did inhibition exercises, focusing a lot on the shoulders. I discovered that I actively pull my shoulder blades down when I raise my arms. This is surely the result of a lifetime of ballet teachers saying "shoulders down!".


We didn't do too much with breathing. This teacher gives other courses for singers and actors, where she probably works on that.


I had been reading about the Alexander Technique and this group session was a good introduction at an affordable price. Next month I will be taking a session focusing on the lower body, geared for dancers and athletes. The upper body session was geared for musicians and computer workers, but I found it to be applicable to dancing as well. I am looking forward to what I will learn about turnout, extension, etc in the next class.



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