Directing the Head in a Table Turn

Open to Teachers/Trainees

Alexander teachers convey kinesthetic information through their “use” while teaching. In doing so, we teachers may be tempted to use too much effort, in particular with our arms. Prompted by Alexander’s words, …in such a way that the pupil will be supporting the torso with his arms, Rose and Rick consider what Alexander may mean by this phrase. Is it possible that supporting the torso with the arms can decrease the unnecessary effort we make with our arms while teaching?



To gain insights, we find it helpful to observe the baby’s developing use of their arms. The distance covered by a baby within their first year of life––from horizontal to semi­-upright to standing––is remarkable and the arms play a critical role, as the baby does not yet know how to support themselves without using their arms. In this workshop, we explore select movements from the baby’s first­ year repertoire––the lift of the head and chest while gaining torso length and back width––and how these movements can be utilized during the teaching procedure of directing the head in a table turn.



In addition to guidance from developmental baby movements, we reference F.M.’s Door Exercise and Marjory Barlow’s Ground Rules wall work (Day 1). We will make use of surfaces, e.g., wall, stool, table, to learn how to support our torsos with our arms while we direct a student’s head at the table (Day 2).