The Secret of Celebrity Presence
Whether they’re posing on the red carpet or acting for a theatre audience, celebrities know that all eyes are on them – so it’s no wonder so many are keen students of the Alexander Technique. Fans include Joanna Lumley, Hilary Swank, Julia Sawalha, Terence Stamp, Kevin Kline, Joan Bakewell, John Cleese amongst others.
Developed by Frederick Matthias Alexander, Alexander Technique (AT) focuses on positive ‘body use’ – ensuring correct, effective posture and helping to maintain a strong and supple muscloskeletal system. This helps avoid injury, to combat existing muscular and joint pain and can improve performance by aiding breathing and posture.
Whether you’re a celebrity or not the Alexander Technique can give you presence and increased confidence when presenting a big idea in the boardroom or just wanting to look your best at a party.
The Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (STAT) is the biggest independent group of teachers in the UK, and can put you in touch with a fully qualified teacher in your area, to help you benefit from a touch of A-list poise. Visit www.stat.org.uk for more details.
Some famous people talking about the Alexander Technique:
97% of people with back pain could benefit by learning the Alexander Technique - it is only a very small minority of back pain sufferers that require medical intervention such as surgery.
Jack Stern, spinal neurosurgeon
The Technique's many benefits for actors include minimized tension, centeredness, vocal relaxation, and responsiveness, mind/body connection and about an inch and a half of additional height.
Kevin Kline, actor
The Alexander Technique can be sustaining; it is something that if learned well, can be carried along with you for the rest of your life. It gives you confidence to be who you are when you are up in front of an audience.
Patrick Maddams, managing director, Royal Academy of Music
Balance is a vital aspect of good hammer throwing and getting the head, neck, spine and pelvis in the correct relationship enables the balance of the throw to come so much more easily. Once the balance is settled there is an enormous improvement in turning speed.
Howard Payne, Commonwealth record hammer thrower
Mr Alexander has done a service to the subject [of the study of reflex and voluntary movement] by insistently treating each act as involving the whole integrated individual, the whole psychophysical man. To take a step is an affair, not of this or that limb solely, but of the total neuromuscular activity of the moment, not least of the head and neck.
Sir Charles Sherrington, neurophysiologist
The Alexander Technique makes a real difference to my often tense and busy life. Its thoughtful approach has made me calmer, improved my concentration and given me a clearer sense of my own well being. I am grateful for it.
Joan Bakewell, TV presenter and journalist
We already notice, with growing amazement, very striking improvements in such diverse things as high blood pressure, breathing, depth of sleep, overall cheerfulness and mental alertness, resilience against outside pressures, and in such a refined skill as playing a musical instrument.
Professor Nicholas Tinbergen, Nobel Prize winner for medicine and physiology
I can definitely say without hesitation that I wouldn't have had the rowing success that I have had the luxury of experiencing in my short time on the water, without finding the AT and the great teachers that I have had the privilege to work with.
Valerie Thompson-Williams, rowing masters gold medallist
The Alexander Technique works... I recommend it enthusiastically to anyone who has neck pains or back pain.
Roald Dahl, writer
I find The Alexander Technique very helpful in my work. Things happen without you trying. They get to be light and relaxed. You must get an Alexander teacher to show it to you.
John Cleese, actor
The Alexander Technique will benefit anyone whether they are an elite athlete or whether they just wish to live life without the aches and pains that many people suffer and accept as part of life. It is a pity that these techniques are not shown to us all at an early age for I have no doubt that this would alleviate many of the causes of ill health in our communities.
Greg Chappell Australian test cricketer (1970 - 1984)
Alexander established not only the beginnings of a far reaching science of the apparently involuntary movements that we call reflexes, but a technique of correction and self control which forms a substantial addition to our very slender resources in personal education.
George Bernard Shaw, writer, Nobel Prize winner for literature
Effective learning must be based on first-hand experience.
John Dewey, educationalist and philosopher
The Alexander Technique has helped me to undo knots, unblock energy and deal with almost paralysing stage fright.
William Hurt, actor
I love the Alexander Technique. It has corrected my posture, improved my health and changed my life.
Alec McCowen CBE, actor
The Alexander Technique has played an important and beneficial part in my life.
John Houseman, actor, producer and director
Alexander students rid themselves of bad postural habits and are helped to reach with their bodies and minds, an enviable degree of freedom of expression.
Michael Langham, Director, The Juilliard School, New York USA
The Alexander Technique changed my life. It enabled me to devote more time to creating beauty. This inner strength is essential for all.
Andrew Logan, sculptor
It gives us all the things we have been looking for in a system of physical education: relief from strain due to maladjustment, and consequent improvement in physical and mental health, increased consciousness of the physical means employed to gain the ends proposed by the will and, along with this, a general heightening of consciousness on all levels... We cannot ask more from any system of physical education; nor, if we seriously desire to alter human beings in a desirable direction, can we ask any less.
Aldous Huxley, writer