Why Are Alexander Technique Teachers So Insecure?

Robert Rickover writes in vol 2 issue 1 of Direction Journal (I’m highlighting parts of his essay below):

London teacher Kri Ackers said: “The thing to remember about Alexander teachers is that we’re all insecure as hell.”

Why is this?

Alexander’s lack of formal training and his low status origins (Tasmania, Australia).

Lack of legal standing for the alexander teaching profession: anyone can call himself an Alexander teacher.

Divisiveness within the Alexander world: after Alexander’s death, several of his students established their own training courses. These men and women had very different interpretations of Alexander’s work, and very different approaches to teaching. These differences have led to bitter disputes with members of the various “lineages” disparaging each other’s work.

Alexander’s racism: a source of profound embarrassment for all of us are his many derogatory remarks about Germany (“as a nation she has no mobility, no poise… We must treat her as mad.”), American blacks (called cowards for running away from klu kklux klan lynch parties) and indigenous peoples (ruled exclusively by “savage instincts and unbridled passions”).

Probably the biggest cause of our insecurity is that our own standars of use are constantly on display. Whenever Alexander teachers and students get together, you hear putdowns such as “He’s pulling down” or ‘”She’s stiffening.”

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