I first met Marj Barstow when I was a graduate student in acting at Southern Methodist University, in 1973. She came there for a week long workshop, and I thought: “Actors are supposed to know about the Alexander Technique, I should take this.” Little did I know that I was beginning a more than 20 year journey each summer to Lincoln, Nebraska to study with her. I began attending her summer workshops in 1974, apprenticed with her, and started teaching in 1976.
In 1986, I co-founded the Performance School, in Seattle Washington. We believed that Mar’s approach to teaching the Technique allowed more people to learn it than more traditional approaches, and we wanted to both bring that approach to teaching to more people, to be a resource for people to learn the Technique and to train teachers.
I have taught in the US, Europe, Japan and Australia, including being a guest teacher at the Sydney 1994 International Congress of teachers of the Alexander Technique, and a workshop presenter at the 2004 Oxford Congress and the 2008 Lugano Congress. I am also a co-founder of Alexander Technique International, which I chaired from 2005 to 2007.
In 1994 I began studying Formal Consensus and consensus decision making. I have created workshops in Formal Consensus for sign language interpreters (I am one myself), midwives, park board members and Alexander Technique teachers. I am fascinated with how the principles of the Technique support and enliven decision making and conflict resolution.
I believe the Technique is simple to learn and to use, and that a student can begin to use it on their own after one lesson. What I enjoy most about teaching is that Aha! moment when a student discovers how a small change in their thinking can have a huge change in how they move, and that they are able to do that thinking for themselves.
For more information about Catherine email her at catherinek (at) performanceschool (dot) org or call 206-522-3584