My learning about the bodymind has come through a wide range and depth of studies, activities and 29 plus 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
Alexander Technique® - ACAT certification & AmSAT membership: October 24, 2016
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- grad studying acting in London, I auditioned for 5 years with an agent but was not artistically fulfilled. I turned to writing poetry and then painting showed up, then someone introduced me to Contact Improvisation(dancing) and I performed at downtown venues. (I continue to show work at 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. Six years later, and a three-year training of 1600 hours of Alexander work by senior teachers, my spine is now about 1° from center in the thoracic and completely straight in the lumbar! What is considered a 'normal' spine by all accounts. I am living proof it is possible to heal the curves and 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 34 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
Ever since I began my Alexander training with Cate, I trust my body more and am overall more relaxed and more present. I feel like a new chapter is unfolding. I'm finally able to begin unravelling the tension in my body. I just love it and am so thankful I found her. I'm in such a good place now. Compared to when I first found Cate, I feel like a totally different person. And my shoulder is healed thanks to her.
~J.Z., NYC 2017
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