The core curriculum at CAS offers all of the basic skills necessary to have a successful Alexander practice. The curriculum includes:
Teaching in Situational Activities
Our lineage at CAS is through Marjorie Barstow of Alexander’s very first training class, who took the principles from Alexander’s Victorian library in London to Lincoln, Nebraska. Back on the ranch, Marj applied the principles to her real life – riding horses and mucking the barn. Through this real life application, she realized that the Work was most useful when applied directly inside the actual activity, and she began teaching groups of people while they were doing what they actually do.
Now, several generations later, Alliance teachers are highly skilled at teaching in real activities. We attempt to create the entire situation of the activity: the real tools, timing, physical and emotional setting, etc. We offer the student an opportunity to recognize how they interrupt themselves when they are really doing their activity – and teach them how to help themselves in that moment. This allows the student to bring Alexander’s principles directly into the critical moments of their life.
At CAS we go even one step further: we actually go to where the activity takes place. Our lessons take place at a symphony rehearsal, in a pool, on a ski mountains, in an office, in a restaurant kitchen, at a dance class, in an artist’s studios, on the ice at the rink, at the riding arena – really, anywhere you can imagine! Trainees learn to apply the principles in real time, in the real situation.
Sophisticated Hands-On Skills
We learn to access and communicate with all layers of a person. We work thru bones, soft tissue, organs, fluids, cells, nervous system, thoughts, memory, beliefs, energy, and so on, to gain a full understanding of the larger patterns and relationships involved in a person’s use and choices.
Similar to training as a musician or dancer, CAS trainees build a regular practice of technical ‘etudes’, which develop an ability to work within a full range of technical skills: from very little contact to full body contact; from a very light touch to the effective use of power; how to effectively use all parts of your hands and touch through all parts of your student’s body; how and why to spatially orient yourself to the student; and so on. Trainees learn to discern and understand the patterns which create stress, tension, and injury directly thru their hands.
Individual, Group, & Intro Teaching
It is a very different skill to craft an effective introductory workshop than to teach an individual lesson. Or to balance the needs of a group while still offering an effective individual experience while demonstrating with a student in front of a group. Through practice teaching situations and hundreds of apprenticeship opportunities, CAS trainees graduate with skills in all three of these formats: individual lesson, group class, and introductory workshop. Trainees have the opportunity to practice and refine their teaching skills with each other as well as with ‘volunteer students’.
Body Mapping/Experiential Anatomy
All trainees are required to complete the Living in a Body ™ Level I course during their training. Developed by CAS Director Robyn Avalon, LIAB™ is a 20 hour professional certification course in body mapping for educators taught throughout the US, Europe, and Asia and translated into several languages (www.livinginabody.com). The first LIAB™ course is included in the training tuition, and trainees can repeat it at half price. In addition to LIAB™, trainees learn basic anatomy, physiology, and developmental movement as a part of their training. Trainees are encouraged to expand their knowledge with additional workshops and courses in related fields.