2018 AmSAT Annual Conference and General Meeting
Pedro de Alcantara

Pedro de Alcantara is a musician, writer, and teacher, leading workshops worldwide on creativity and health. His books include Indirect Procedures: A Musician's Guide to the Alexander TechniqueIntegrated Practice: Coordination, Rhythm & Sound; and The Integrated String Player: Embodied Vibration, all published by Oxford University Press. Pedro lives in Paris and is Visiting Professor at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

William Conable

Bill Conable is an Alexander Teacher and a musician. He is Professor Emeritus of Music at the Ohio State University, where he was active as a cellist and conductor. He began his Alexander studies with Marjorie Barstow in 1962 and continued with her over the next twenty-five years. He also studied with Frank Pierce Jones and Walter Carrington.

In 1973 at Ohio State he initiated the first class in the Alexander Technique offered at an American university.  In the mid-1970's, he began developing the concept of Body-mapping, which is widely recognized as a major contribution to the theory and pedagogy of the Alexander Technique. He has presented papers and workshops on this development at Alexander teacher training courses in the US and Japan and at conventions of both Alexander teachers and music teachers. Body mapping is at the core of How to Learn the Alexander Technique, which he co-authored with Barbara Conable.

In recent years, Bill has studied energy healing with James Kepner, Carol DeSanto, Rosalyn Bruyere, and Shelby Hammitt. He is a certified Advanced Practitioner of Nervous System Energy Work, a new discipline being developed by Kepner and DeSanto. His current research centers on the integration of this work with the Alexander Technique.

Bill Conable offers classes and private instruction Spokane, WA, at annual workshops in Spokane and Columbus, Ohio, and in workshops sponsored by organizations all over the world. In recent years he has taught at KAPPA, ATA, and AQP, Alexander teacher training programs in Japan, and at CBAS in North Carolina, and in Taiwan, Brazil, Chile, and Italy, among others. With Shawn Copeland, he has recently begun an expermental training course, Inter-Mountain Alexander Training, in Spokane and Boulder. He is a Teaching Member of ATI and a former teaching member of AmSAT.

Monika Gross

Monika Gross, mAmSAT, mATI, RSME, BFA, is the founder and Executive Director of The Poise Project, a nonprofit created in 2016 to create an infrastructure for a strategic approach for bringing Alexander technique (AT) principles to new populations and creating jobs for AT professionals.

Monika is a senior AT teacher. She had her first AT lesson in 1976 and was certified in 1985, training in New York City with Lydia Yohay, who was in an early graduating class at ACAT. Monika taught in NYC for 25 years and since 2010 she has been teaching in Asheville and Charlotte NC. Since 2002, she is the co-owner of Form Fitness & Function with her husband, Tom Dessereau, providing AT and Pilates services in studio, onsite, and anywhere in the world via video conference.

Monika is a professional theater director, playwright and performer and holds a BFA from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She is a member of AEA, SDC and the Dramatists Guild. She was the recipient of the NC Arts Council's 2015-2016 Playwriting Fellowship. 

Monika is a teaching member of AmSAT, ATI, and the Western North Carolina AT teacher consortium, Alexander Teachers of the Mountain Region (ATMR). She is a Registered Somatic Movement Educator with ISMETA. In 2009, Monika, Belinda Mello and Lindsay Newitter co-founded Studio AT Large in NYC, a grassroots effort to promote awareness of AT, organizing AT teachers and their students to provide information and AT "tastings" in a variety of informal indoor and outdoor locations. From 2011-12, she was an adjunct faculty at the Hayes School of Music at Appalachian State University teaching all the AT courses.

Monika's particular area of interest is in preserving natural poise in children and youth.

Alexandra Kassouf

Alexandra Kassouf is currently pursuing AmSAT certification at the ATTIC under the direction of Daria Okugawa. She is a professional classical singer, voice teacher, and dance teacher, as well as a slackline enthusiast. She earned an MM in Voice from the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati and a BFA in Vocal Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Frances Marsden

Frances Marsden trained as an Alexander teacher at the Constructive Teaching Center in London with Walter and Dilys Carrington and has been teaching for thirty five years. She completed two years postgraduate work at the Urbana Center for the Alexander Technique, directed by Joan and Alex Murray. Prior to her Alexander training, Frances studied acting at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Glasgow.

She is a member of the faculty and Board of the Alexander Training Institute of Los Angeles. She has taught at University of Southern California and California State University at Los Angeles and currently teaches at Occidental College. She also teaches for Shakespeare at the Huntington, the Claremont Clarinet Festival and Alexander Technique Workshops-International.

She maintains a private practice in Pasadena, California.

Daria Okugawa

Daria T. Okugawa (MFA, BFA, AmSAT) co-founded the Virginia School for the Alexander Technique in Charlottesville Virginia in 1987 with Frank Sheldon. She continued on as solo director there for almost 30 years until 2011 when she moved to Chicago. She opened The ATTIC / Alexander Technique Training In Chicago in 2012 and continues training teachers there today.

After completing her BFA in Acting at Carnegie Melon University in 1978 she moved to London receiving her AT teacher certification at Alexander Teaching Associates / ATA under the directorship of Don Burton, Sue Thame and Isobel Mc Gilvray.

She obtained an MFA in Acting from the University of Virginia in 2011 and along with teaching carries on performing currently as an actor in theatre and film primarily in the Chicago area.   She has taught workshops and courses for many organizations and universities along the way; such as, Los Angeles City College Theatre Academy, The League of Crafty Guitarists, The Kluge Rehabilitation Center, Washington and Lee University, The University of Virginia, Roanoke College, Chicago Director’s Lab, The School for Theatre Creator, Adjunct faculty at Roosevelt University and more.

She is an AmSAT certified teacher and teacher trainer, serving on their board for five years and on many committees along the way.  Having served on Amsat’s board for 5 years and few committees along the way she is honored to be the 2018 ACGM program co-ordinator.

Phyllis Richmond

Phyllis Richmond (M.AmSAT, M.STAT) certified as an Alexander Technique teacher at the Brighton Alexander Training Centre (John Nicholls) in 1991. A serious student of Taijiquan since 1998 in the United States, Taiwan, and China, she received her teaching certification from the Yang Style Martial Arts Association in Taiwan in 2013. She also teaches the Shaw Method of Swimming. 

Phyllis teaches in Evanston, Illinois and Dallas, Texas and offers workshops and courses for universities and professional programs including the University of North Texas, Southern Methodist University, Northwestern, Rice, Baylor, Vanderbilt, University of Texas, Oklahoma, Central Oklahoma, Louisiana, as well as the Dallas Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Music Institute of Chicago, Keyboard Wellness Seminar, and the American Harp Society. 

Phyllis has an MA in Dance Education and is a Certified Laban Movement Analyst (CMA). A former journalist, Phyllis was the Editor of AmSAT News/AmSAT Journal from 2005-2017In 2012 she received AmSAT's Distinguished Service Award, the Society's highest honor.

Robin Simmons

Robin John Simmons SBAT MSTAT has been teaching AT since 1971 having trained with the Carringtons. Since 1982 he has been training AT teachers and has trained over 100 teachers to date. Since learning about the work of Raymond Dart whilst training he has taken a life-long interest in connecting the work of Professor Dart to his Alexander Teaching. He published “The Evolution of Movement“ in 2015 which describes the Dart Procedures and the links between them and AT and his book is being re-issued by Mouritz in January 2018. He has taught the Technique in many Europen countries & in Australia.

He currently runs, together with his wife Béatrice, an AT training school in Zürich, Switzerland. In recent times he has been invited to give presentations in India, Denmark and Sweden. He and Béatrice run an annual one-week course on the Evolution of Movement and the Elements on the Mediterranean coast in Turkey. He also teaches T’ai Chi and Nordic Walking.

The contact address for Robin is: www.alexander-technik-schweiz.com 

Judith Stern

Judith Stern trained at ACAT and was certified by AmSAT in 1987. She joined the TCP Faculty that same year as the Anatomy teacher and became a member of the ACAT Senior Faculty in 1995. Prior to her Alexander training, Judith received her BS and Post-graduate Certificate in Physical Therapy from Simmons College in 1968, and her Masters in Health Education from the University of Florida in 1979.

She has served the community as Vice-President of AmSAT; Chairperson of ACAT; and as a longtime member of the faculty of the Alexander Residential Course at UNCSA. She has presented the Technique at Columbia University Medical School, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, NYU, the Aspen Music Festival Conference on Medical Problems of Performing Artists, the Verbier Music Festival, and the International Congress’ of the FM Alexander Technique. Judith was a Director of the 8th International Congress in Lugano, Switzerland, August 2008. She was a presenter at the 9th Congress and again at the 10th Congress in 2015.

Judith’s major influences include Judy Liebowitz, Deborah Caplan, Frank Ottiwell, and Elisabeth Walker. She has also studied with Walter and Dylis Carrington and Shmuel Nelkin and completed Jessica Wolf”s first post graduate training in The Art of Breathing. Judith’s expertise is working with people with Pain Syndromes.

Judi Vinar

“The incredible thing about Judi is that no matter what style she happens to be singing, it sounds as though she doesn’t do anything else”…Rick Carlson – Pianist

Judi’s been singing in the Twin Cities since 1989, including regular appearances with the “Wolverines Classic Jazz Orchestra”, “JazzMN Orchestra”, the “St. Croix Jazz Orchestra”, and “The Girls!” She has toured internationally with Bobby McFerrin’s a cappella group “Voicestra” since 2001. Judi also directs the Unity Minneapolis Choir, www.unityminneapolis.org.

With a Bachelors Degree in Vocal Performance and Masters in Education, Judi taught and served on the administration of McNally Smith College for 20 years. She currently teaches at home and travels the country as Clinician and Guest Artist for Jazz and Choral Festivals. Judi is a member of Bobby Mcferrin’s faculty for the annual “Circle Songs” improvisation workshop at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY.  www.eomega.org.

To find Judi’s recordings on ITunes or Youtube, search under Judi Donaghy.  To learn more about upcoming events or join her mailing list, go to www.judivinar.com.

Rahima Wright

Rahimah Wright trained at the ATTIC Charlottesville with directorship of Daria Okugawa. She graduated in June 2002 and joined the teaching faculty there in 2008 where she continues training teachers in co-directorship with Chris Friedman.

She attended John Nichols’ post graduate course in 2014- 2015 which brought her deeper into an understanding of non doing, listening hands, and doing on a non-doing foundation.

She embraces the practice of living the principles of the technique. AT has has been an essential foundation in her life, including her practice of Yoga,  helping her run multiple marathons, deliver two healthy babies at home, and having fulfilling and empowering relationships with the people in her life. She is so grateful to all of her teachers and students!