11th Alexander Technique Congress: Advancing Global Perspectives

I had a wonderful time at the 11th AT Congress at Loyal University Chicago. It was a week of continuous learning in the Alexander Technique, working and meeting people around the world who are interested in deepening our awareness of the well being of our life, health, and connection to the world around us.

With this year’s theme focusing on Advancing Global Perspective: Making New Connections with Science, Performance, and Education.

Keynote Speakers included:

  • Dr. Norman Doidge, who wrote the ‘The Brain that Changes Itself’ and the ‘The Brain’s Way of Healing’, will be joining us for a 3-hour presentation. His research in the field of neuroplasticity and his insights into the body, brain, mind connection will be stimulating and challenging. A real “wake-up call” for innovation.
  • Dr. Neil Shubin who is the Robert Bensley Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago and associate dean for the academic strategy of the university’s Biological Sciences Division. He’s also the author of two popular science books — The Universe Within: The Deep History of the Human Body (2013) and the best-selling Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body (2008). Your Inner Fish was named best book of the year by the National Academy of Sciences.
  • In Performance, Emmy Award-winning actor, director, and comedian David Hyde Pierce. He is currently starring on Broadway in Hello Dolly with Bette Midler. He won four Emmy Awards as a lead actor in the hit series Frasier. He has been studying the AT for the many years and thrilled to join us in Chicago!
  • In Education, Roshi Joan Halifax, Ph.D.  She is a Buddhist teacher, Zen priest, anthropologist, and pioneer in the field of end-of-life care. She is Founder, Abbot, and Head Teacher of Upaya Institute and Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She received her Ph.D. in medical anthropology in 1973 and has lectured on the subject of death and dying at many academic institutions and medical centers around the world. She received a National Science Foundation Fellowship in Visual Anthropology, was an Honorary Research Fellow in Medical Ethnobotany at Harvard University, and was a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Library of Congress. Her books include: The Human Encounter with Death (with Stanislav Grof); The Fruitful Darkness, A Journey Through Buddhist Practice; Simplicity in the Complex: A Buddhist Life in America; Being with Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Wisdom in the Presence of Death; and her forthcoming Standing at the Edge: Finding Freedom Where Fear and Courage Meet, to be released May 1, 2018.
  • Kevan Martin. Kevan is a Director of the Institute of Neuroinformatics and a Double Professor of Systems Neurophysiology at the University of Zurich and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (‘ETH’).  His research is on the structure and function of the circuits of the neocortex where he studies the physical basis of perception, cognition, and action. One of his longstanding interests is the physical basis of thought. He explores many aspects of performance to find an answer to the simple question: What is the relationship between thought and movement? His own performance is as a member of 4-Brain, a formation skydiving team that trains in Switzerland.

Within our Alexander Community for Plenary Speakers:

Joan Schirle (Performance), Ted Dimon, Ph.D. (Education), and Dr. Rajal Cohen(Science). We will also be having two days of Panel Discussions in the fields of Science, Education, Performance, and Business, which will be both insightful and informative.

Not to mention all the wonderful CL Sessions and Workshops! It was a great week!

Photo Credit: 11th AT Congress

PNMT Colloquium 2018 Praxis: Principles Into Action June 1-3, 2018 Champaign, IL

Doug Nelson Teaching
Douglas  Nelson

I’m excited to be presenting at this years PNMT Colloquium. I’ll be talking about the importance dance has to our mental and physical health. Below is a description from the Precision Neuromuscular Therapy website.

“Each Colloquium is an amazing experience, one of learning, laughter, and deep exploration of topics that we cannot always explore in our regular seminars. It is also a chance to be with one hundred therapists who are as passionate and dedicated to this work as you are. We learn and share from each other.

For Colloquium 2018, the theme is Praxis: Putting Principles into Action. In Colloquium 2018, we will explore how to use massage therapy research insights to guide clinical practice. ”

Check out the website for more information:

PNMT Colloquium 2018

Summer Showcase at Master Dance Studio


The Summer Showcase at Master Dance is Aug 6th and I will be presenting an excerpt from my new work Disappearing Wonder! If you plan to attend, get your tickets now. There will be amazing student and pro shows ranging from ballroom to contemporary and fantastic food by Chef Joe Jamisola!

Time and Date: Aug 6th 6:00pm

For Tickets Call:   (847) 359-8062  Price: $30

Location: 297 N Northwest Hwy

Palatine, IL


The Hummingbird: Meet The Artist Kayla Brown

Kayla Brown


A Champaign-Urbana native with nearly two decades of experience in vocal performance in folk, rock, blues, and jazz. Kayla has performed in venues all across  the country including performing the National Anthem at Wrigley Field in 2011. Kayla is currently putting her energy into writing music with her indie rock project We The Animals and putting the final touches on their debut album.  However, for The Hummingbird, we are taking a trip back in time with Kayla to revisit some prohibition era jazz and blues. Kayla will be joined by the incomparable Michael McLoughlin on guitar and the transcendent talent of Bobby Lane on the trumpet.

Flatlands Dance Film Festival: September 15th 7:00pm at the Art Theater, Champaign IL


Flatlands Dance Film Festival Competition Screening

Adjudicated by Luke Boyce, Laura Chiaramonte, and Mark Rhodes

This year we had 73 submissions from 13 countries! Check our the winning films!

Films (not in program order):
Bedrooms (USA)
Crushing Weight (Brazil)
Embrace (Belgium)
The Showdown (USA)
Jux Lucid (USA) 
Question of You (USA)
Single#Double#Triple# (Italy)
5 Days of My Life (Greece)
Echo (Netherlands)
Jour de Marché (France)
Kyra (Brazil)
Plow Plant Reap (USA)
Your Own Man (Ireland)

$10 (students), $15 (general)

Mark your calendars and share this event with friends—we hope to see you at The Art!



VIENNA WILLEMS loves to dance with her friends. She recently has had the opportunity to do so in her third season with Synapse Arts Collective. She is currently working it out with Chris Knowlton and The Dance Team and is known to get down with Lauren Warnecke (Art Intercepts). Vienna has also danced with Chicago choreographers Madeleine Reber, Laura Chiaramonte, and Hope Goldman among others. Originally from Los Angeles, she moved to Chicago shortly after graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a BFA in Dance. She enjoys live music, videography, and baking banana bread.

Help out The Dance Team and Friends. Please check out our Kickstarter video and give to the arts!

Click link below to donate! Thank you!!


THE PAST IS PROLOGUE is a three-evening show of new and revisited works by The Dance Team and friends on Daylights Savings weekend. These works explore the circumstances that have brought us to the world as we know it and what it might mean for the future.