Nanette Walsh is dedicated to seeking innovative solutions to problems of individuals and communities. Her own challenges as a young person presaged a life-long pursuit helping others become more of who they are and who they might be for the world.
When Nan was 17, she was in an diving accident that resulted in multiple traumatic injuries, a concussion induced coma, and emergency surgery. Painting helped her through her recovery. In college, she combined studies in Special Education, Psychology, and Fine Arts. She received her BFA in 1979. Nan then worked with the State of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical University’s Neurophysiology Research Department to produce an award-winning animated film on the neural pathways of pain. Her work with technology there led to graduate work in Transmedia studies in the School of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University. Nan’s Master’s research analyzed movement with regards to its generative linguistic expressions in interactive digital media. While at Syracuse, she also worked with the Cerebral Palsy Center’s Schneier Communication Unit and helped create some of the first image-based computerized communication systems. Nan completed her MFA in 1982; her thesis was entitled “A Digital Approach to the Expressive Elements of Movement.” After completing her MFA she moved to New York City, where she worked as a computer programmer and taught at the School of Visual Arts (SVA).
Nan’s study of the Alexander Technique began in 1982. She trained to be a teacher at the American Center for the Alexander Technique (ACAT) and was certified by the American Society of the Alexander Technique (AmSAT) in 1995. Following extensive post-graduate work in both New York and London, Nanette served as Resident Associate Faculty member at ACAT until 2006.
From 1999 to 2005, Nan did extensive Alexander Technique post-graduate work in London with highly respected Technique teachers Walter Carrington and Peggy Williams. She apprenticed with Peggy and was entrusted by her to write the story of Peggy’s life and teaching. This book entitled Unsmudged: An Encounter With Peggy Williams, A First Generation Teacher of the Alexander Technique, was published in 2018.
In 2006, Nan co-founded Alexander Technique New York City (ATNYC), a teacher training center, where she served as Co-Director of its Teacher Certification Program (TCP) with John Nicholls from 2009 until ATNYC’s closing in June 2014. In September 2014, Nan founded the Riverside Initiative for the Alexander Technique (RIAT), and currently serves as Director of its TCP.
Nan has served in various governing, leadership, advisory, and volunteer roles in AmSAT since 2008, establishing herself as an innovator and community-builder in the national society. From 2009 to 2011, she served an extended tenure as Chair of AmSAT’s Board; one of her legacies was the establishment of AmSAT’s regular membership newsletters, which continue to support and connect AmSAT’s leadership with its hundreds of members. In addition to her time as chair, Nanette served on the Professional Conduct Committee, as well as a two-year term on AmSAT’s Leadership Advisory Council. In 2012, Nanette was awarded AmSAT’s Certificate of Merit, and in 2013 and 2014 she was awarded its Certificate of Appreciation.
After Hurricane Sandy immobilized New York City in 2012, Nanette joined her Alexander Technique community’s forces with other wellness practitioners in the NYC-based organization Community Relief and Recovery through Education and Wellness (CRREW) to bring relief to flood victims, as well as aid workers and volunteers.
Nanette has maintained an active private teaching practice on Manhattan’s Upper West Side for over 25 years, and now also teaches in the midtown Flatiron district. In addition to her work at RIAT and ATNYC, she has also taught at ACAT, The Dimon Institute, and at the Alexander Technique Workshop in Sweet Briar, Virginia. In 2019 she founded Sapientia Initiative, a 501(c)(3) umbrella organization for RIAT’s training course and community outreach programs. Nanette is Sapientia’s Executive Director and the director of RIAT’s Training Course.
Nanette has also maintained a long-time commitment to and interest in depth psychology, as well as a 20+ year practice of tai chi and contemplative study. For nearly a decade, Nanette studied Tibetan Buddhism before being drawn to Western Wisdom traditions; she is a Camaldolese oblate and has recently earned her Master’s in Psychology and Religion, and Systematic Theology, and at Union Theological Seminary.
Nanette’s diverse interests and professional accomplishments over a lifetime have synergistically come together to convey the Technique’s efficacy for greater well-being in the individual and the community. She established Sapientia Initiative, Inc. as a place where a holistic, integrated, and innovative approach to the Alexander Technique can be shared with an increasingly diverse community and be reciprocally enriched by those whose lives it touches.
“Through her tenure on the Board, Nanette repeatedly demonstrated her strong commitment to the Alexander Technique and to our professional society. With her clear thinking and stellar communication skills, she led AmSAT through an enormous amount of restructuring as we adapted to a new association management company, developed and launched a new website, increased our promotional and outreach efforts, and created new organizational structures to meet our changing needs….Nanette gave us her very best. She’s the rare person who sees both the forest and the trees!”
– The American Society for the Alexander Technique (AmSAT), honoring and acknowledging Nanette’s work with the society (AmSAT e-UPdate, “Volunteer Extraordinaire, 2011)
Publications by Nanette Walsh
Walsh, Nanette. “Unsmudged: An Encounter with Peggy Williams: A First Generation Teacher of the Alexander Technique” Levellers Press (2018)
Articles About the Alexander Technique
Walsh, Nanette. “The Alexander Technique: A Primer ” (2002) *Appendix for Peggy Williams: Unsmudged
Articles About First Generation Teachers & Mentors
Walsh, Nanette. “Peggy Williams In Her Own Words.” AmSAT News. (Spring 2004)
Walsh, Nanette. “The Greatest Treasure, Obituary for Peggy Williams” Statnews. (January 2004)
Walsh, Nanette. Remembering Walter Carrington: Keystone of the Alexander Technique Compiled and edited by Elizabeth Langford. Leuven: Alexandertechniek Centrum vzw. (2006)
Walsh, Nanette. “On the Alexander Technique With Pearl Ausubel” AmSAT News. (Spring 2007)
Walsh, Nanette. “In Memory and Appreciation of Pearl Ausubel.” AmSAT News. (Spring 2009)
Read more articles, research and links about the Alexander Technique.