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Bruce and student

Discover new possibilities in yourself and in your students while exploring with your peers.

Connect to the lineage of Marjorie Barstow.

Play. Work. Grow. 
Gone is the straight-lined striving, the stopping and oughting. Instead curiosity, inquisitiveness, and permission to experiment, to play, to open boxes and to climb out of them into a world of possibility - a world both soft and strong. And all this through a quiet power, an exquisite touch, a clarity of speech, and a wealth of wisdom. For me, Bruce's work is more than exciting; it is important, both to the world and to anyone involved in any way with Alexander's Technique.
Annie Turner - Alexander Technique Teacher
Cornwall, England

Founding Director of The Alexander Alliance International

September 24-25, 2016
New York City

Bruce Fertman's work as an Alexander Technique teacher is unique and innovative. One of the foremost representatives of Marjorie Barstow’s lineage, Bruce has gone on to develop his own authentic style, and is especially gifted when it comes to teaching in groups. He’s a philosopher and poet and writer who gives a clear voice to the Alexander Technique. 

Michael Frederick - Founder of The Alexander Technique International Congress

The Alexander Technique

Saturday, September 24
1. The Physics and Physiology of Touch

2. Disarming the Arms

Sunday, September 25
3. Bringing the Work to Life and Life into the Work

4. Walking into the World
Quick Links
Day 1   Day 2    Pricing   Private Lessons   Registration
Saturday, September 24

Class 1, The Physics and Physiology of Touch

Class 2, Disarming the Arms

American Center for the Alexander Technique
39 West 14th Street, Suite 507

ACAT will remain open during the two-hour break between classes. If you are attending both you are welcome to eat lunch in the space and/or pull out a provided mat and lie down to recharge for the second class. 
The Physics and Physiology of Touch

To receive everything one must open one's hands, and give.

-Taisen De`shimaru
Hands grasp, release, cling, clench, communicate. Hands welcome, embrace, inform, and in our case, educe. They lead out that which lies within. 
In this class we will study the craft of the hand, increasing our tactual skills as Alexander teachers.

We understand well the paramount importance of personal use while teaching and the direct impact use has on our quality of touch. It’s easy to become mystified when trying to understand what experienced Alexander teachers actually do with their hands that make them so effective. Often, teachers with 'gifted' hands don't know what makes their hands so effective. After all, none of us ever get to experience what our hands are really like.

From early on in my life as an Alexander teacher people perceived me as a person with 'gifted hands.' At some point I decided to take them at their word, and began inquiring as to what made my hands work. I found that, as important as good use is, there's even more to soft, powerful, effective touch than simply good use. 
There are ways to demystify touch, to find words for the wordless, to be tactually literate. As there are primary colors, so there are primary touches: push, pull, slide, spin, and roll. 
In other words, physics.
Out of these five primary touches an infinite variety of touches become possible.
Disarming the Arms

When it's over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement.

I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
 -Mary Oliver
How do we open our arms? How do we help our students to open their arms?

The upper appendicular skeletal structure is like a concentric circle encircling the ribs, which encircle the spine, which encircles the spinal cord, ever widening rings. Arms that cling to or collapse down upon our ribs interfere with breath, with overall integration, with life.
In this class we will learn how to disarm the arms, so the ribs can free themselves from their cage, so the spine can decompress itself under the skull. We’ll spend time learning how to use our arms naturally, the way boxers, martial artists, and athletes use their arms. Then we’ll apply these principles to how we use our arms when we’re teaching.

Sunday, September 25

Class 3, Bringing the Work to Life and Life into the Work

Class 4, Walking into the World

American Center for the Alexander Technique
39 West 14th Street, Suite 507

ACAT will remain open during the two-hour break between classes. If you are attending both you are welcome to eat lunch in the space and/or pull out a provided mat and lie down to recharge for the second class. 
Bringing the Work to Life and Life into the Work

Become aware of your habits, because your habits will become your character.

Become aware of your character, because your character will become your destiny.
As Alexander teachers we can impart Alexander’s work via his procedures, or through procedures developed by other creative Alexander teachers. We can also help our students apply Alexander’s work into their lives, directly, by helping them as they are doing the things they do in their lives. Working in any or all of these ways is valid.

Increasingly, there's another way I work with my students, a way that has taken me 40 years to develop.
It’s a way that brings life into the work and the work to life. It’s what I call Working Situationally.

Have you noticed that when you are doing well it’s relatively easy to make use of Alexander’s work, but when the going gets tough, all our Alexander training flies right out the window? How can we practice sticking to principle under emotionally stressful circumstances, when relating to family members, when encountering problems at work, while coping with physical injury and pain, when overwhelmed by stressful thoughts and emotions?
We are meant to be more than bodyworkers, more than movement efficiency and effectiveness specialists, more than performance enhancement coaches. Our job is to help people make good use of themselves, not only of their bodies. When we teach well we don’t touch a person’s body per se. We don’t work on a person’s body; we work through a person’s body. We can learn to touch a person, a whole person, indivisible. Our job is to work with the undivided self.
Walking into the World
It's no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.
-Francis of Assisi
Walking, when understood, is the Alexandrian procedure that most integrates rotational and spiraling motion into and around an upright structure. It increases alertness, breath, and vitality. It helps dissipate postural holding. Our ability to help people engage deep postural support, when combined with an understanding of the mechanics that underlie walking, results in a terrific sense of freedom and power in motion.

In this class we'll learn to walk with the wind at our backs, and help our students to do the same.

Not to stand on our own two feet, but on the ground.

Accessing core support that wells up from the ground.

Freeing our ankles.

Allowing our knees to hang below our hip joints, our pelvis to pedal backwards, our legs to subtly scallop as they swing.

Letting our feet find their own footing.

Understanding gate patterns.
Class Pricing

1 CLASS: $100
2 CLASSES; $194 ($97 each)
3 CLASSES: $282 ($94 each)
4 CLASSES: $360 ($90 each)


Bruce will be teaching a limited number of private lessons on Monday, September 26 and Tuesday, September 27. To schedule a lesson please contact Ian Jorgensen at or at 206-850-8085. Lessons will take place at Balance Arts Center, 34 West 28th Street, 3rd floor.

Private lesson pricing:
Solo: 50 minutes, $125
Duet: 1 hour, $75 each participant
Trio: 2 hours, $100 each participant
Quartet or quintet: 3 hours, $100 each participant


If you have any questions or would like to register please contact Ian Jorgensen at or at 206-850-8085.

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