My learning about the bodymind has come through a wide range and depth of studies, activities and 30 years of experience, capped off by the three year teacher certification training of the Alexander Technique. From the classroom and self study to the stage and inner screen, every phase of my life has in-formed my integration and coordination. The right use of my movement is transmitted to the student's whole self assisted by my hands-on thinking.
( Left: After 126 lessons, Right: before 1st lesson )
"With Cate McNider's Alexander Technique at The Listening Body®, I'm consistently seeing ground breaking shifts in my mental and physical habits. Cate's extensive body and energy work combined with her acting and dancing experience, make Alexander Technique a natural fit. Alexander Technique sessions are subtle, in this Actors opinion.
Cate helped me relax and stay present for a recent short film I was cast in. My usual habit of critical voices and physical tension was gone. I was free from moment to moment and fully connected to the work. Cate taught me the Alexander Technique "Lie Down", "Whispered Ah's", combined with Meditation, Yoga, that I use daily and make part of my acting preparation. My sessions with Cate, cultivated an awareness of my habits, developing tools to release the habits and making significant changes in my life and work as an actor." ~ET, NYC"
At the age of 14, I proclaimed to my parents I wanted to be an actor and I set about auditioning at the local community arts center. Simultaneously we discovered my spine was diverting from its straight path, the early beginnings of S-curve scoliosis. Since I had always been a mover/dancer (ballet and modern), I begin stretching on the living room floor constantly and made up exercises to counteract the developing pain. I refused to allow a cast or Herrington rod, amazingly, my parents let me handle it.
I arrived in NYC after college graduation and two years post-graduate studying acting and Martha Graham technique in London. I auditioned in NYC for 5 years with an agent, but landed most roles on my own, but was not artistically fulfilled. I turned to writing poetry and then painting showed up, then a friend introduced me to Contact Improvisation(dancing) and I performed at downtown venues. I created my own solo multi-media pieces at Collective Unconscious, Williamsburg PAA and Dixon Place.
I became licensed in massage therapy in 1991 which afforded a flexible schedule for continuing my arts and delving deeply into healing my spine and heart. The healing and art work was intertwined and interdependent, for example, a painting I did based on an image that came to me while receiving bodywork, became the cover of my first published collection of poetry, Separation and Return. I came to uncover, release and unwind the deep emotional pain that was stored in the tissues through several kinds of healers and somato-emotional work. In pursuit of my own healing gave me many insights and compassion into working with others, ‘healer heal thyself’.
By giving up the putting on the masks of character, my choice for living in a body with less pain, had me deconstructing my own masks! AdditionalIy I was certified in: Cranio-Sacral®, Body-Mind Centering®, Reiki, Pilates, Yoga and Deep Memory Process®; diversifying my bodywork and movement practices in tandem with my personal healing process.
After 23 years of practicing massage and added modalities, I was burnt out. My forearms ached, my wrists were strained, I was tired of the extra laundry, I was letting go of a lot of old stuff. So, I took care of my aging dog, sat quietly a lot and asked myself what am I going to do next? One night, while I was online, I found myself typing in Alexander Technique teacher trainings; there was my answer! I audited the class at ACAT the following week and the rest, as they say is her-story.
Eight years later, and a three-year training of 1600 hours of Alexander work by senior teachers, my spine is now centered!! In addition to practice of the Alexander principles, I continued my own energetic unwinding practices which contributed as well. I am living proof it is possible to heal the distorted curves and most importantly, the content that holds the tension.
In the course of my meditations over the years, I came to understand the source of my spinal distortion and took full responsibility for reacting the way I did in order to survive my tumultuous family dynamic. I released those internal triggers for 38 years and my bodymind was allowed to respond in the natural direction - health!!
Although I had heard about the Alexander Technique for years, I never quite understood what it was all about. That changed recently, when I visited Cate McNider in an effort to relieve shoulder and neck pain. I felt significantly better. My pain was gone and my mobility was back. Cate was very careful to explain the technique in detail. What it was. What to expect. She is extremely gentle, and concerned about her patient the entire time. I wholeheartedly recommend Cate for pain management and improved posture.
-Lynne Dominick, NYC 2018
"They were offering a monthly Monday night hands-on
demonstration. I got myself there and Cate McNider was leading the evenings presentation. I had an instant
connection to Cate. Cate reflected someone who had her own personal AT practice. She "walked the walk".
I found something about her presence so open, welcoming and fun. Cate was playful, happy and full of life. After the demonstration was over, Cate and I spoke together. I shared the pain I was
having, along with my story about being told I needed AT years ago by my acting teacher. Cate shared her own
story with me and I had an instant connection. What flashed through my mind was the Buddhist proverb,
“When the student is ready the master appears.”
-Ellen Toomey, NYC, 2018
I have benefited so much from our Listening Body sessions. First, and maybe foremost, they are incredibly relaxing and enjoyable. The time on the table gives me a chance to really tune into my body, which I’m getting better and better at because of the process.
I’m one of those people who is in my head most of the time and often unaware of my body until it starts hurting—most of the time in my lower back and shoulders. The Listening Body sessions has helped me to improve my posture, relax my body, and most of all relieve the pain from the lower back.
Often when I leave the session I’m feeling expansive and I was so surprised to see how much my posture had improved between the before and after photos you took of me when I first started and after my first 9 rounds of Listening Body sessions. Now, I can and do remember to give my body the 4 simple directions you have taught me—the secret sauce to taking the reins of improving my own health. So simple and yet s powerful. You are amazing. Thanks so much.
L.West, NYC 2022
It's one of the best workshops I've ever taken and at the exact right time. Thank you so much for sharing your soulful life's work, it changed my life.
~ES, NYC, 2018
I really liked the connection to energy as we began to move! The whole experience was very uplifting! I really absorbed a lot from what we did and really look forward to incorporating this technique into my practice. I look forward to going to another workshop of yours in the near future.
-MG, NYC, 2018
The [Bone-Art]workshop was nicely put together; the presentation of material, ‘lie down’, the drawing and movement. I enjoyed each segment by itself, but at the end when I leave I feel all nice and energized and happy! This course ignited my passion and it makes me feel a part of myself. And if it wasn’t for you giving this course, I wouldn’t have come to this conclusion. Really thank you very much.
~Faisal Al-Matrouk, NYC, 2017
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Watch the Mindset Artistry podcast interview on their YouTube channel, where I am a guest of Amanda DeBraux and Janel Koloski talking about healing practices I teach, what they can do for you, and how I came to them!