Ruth Rootberg, M.AmSAT
AmSAT Certified Teacher of the Alexander Technique
My first lessons in the Technique were over 40 years ago with Alexander teacher and scientist Frank Pierce Jones at Tufts University. I remember standing in line at the cafeteria after a lesson and hearing my friends say: “You look taller.” Although I did not continue Alexander lessons for many years, I felt I had been introduced to something very important, and that it informed every part of my life.
When I left Tufts, I went on to study voice and opera. Through a series of life-changing moments, I sang in Switzerland and Chicago, and then went into clowning, puppetry, and acting. Then I became a designated Linklater Voice Teacher and Certified Laban Bartenieff Movement Analyst.
My second encounter with the Technique came while studying acting and continued while I taught voice at the Yale School of Drama. For a long time I was so enamored with the Alexander Technique as a means to improve performance that at first I ignored how it helped me to reduce my own pain and suffering. But since training to become an Alexander Technique teacher, I have resolved problems due to plantar fasciitis, chondromalacia patella, and the occasional neck and shoulder stiffness, not to mention unwinding the final vestiges of a fractured lumbar vertebra. In addition, after a prolonged respiratory illness, I discovered how I had been contributing to my wheezing. I had sufficient skill in the Technique by then and I was able to quiet my breathing, and have not had an episode like that again. To sum up, I call the Alexander Technique my personal antidote to middle age.
I teach private lessons and group classes, and have assisted people on the job in their place of work. I have given short courses in numerous music, dance and theatre departments in New England. I’m very excited to share my two books of interviews with you: Living the Alexander Technique: Interviews with Nine Teachers, and Living the Alexander Technique, Volume II: Aging with Poise. Read more about them here.
Photograph © Clive J. Mealey