Our faculty draw from diverse fields of expertise and professional experience in a wide variety of institutional and performing arts settings. They are committed to life-long learning and growth on an individual and collective basis.
Nanette Walsh, m.AmSAT,
M.F.A., M.A. is the founder and director of both the Sapientia Initiative’s 501(c)3 organization, and RIAT, its flagship Teacher Certification Program. Previously, Nan founded and co-directed Alexander Technique New York City (ATNYC), training teachers from 2005-2014.
Nan recently earned a Masters degree in Psychology and Systematic Theology from Union Theological Seminary (2021). In 2018, Nan authored Unsmudged: An Encounter with Peggy Williams, a First Generation Teacher of the Alexander Technique.
She has taught at the American Center for the Alexander Technique (ACAT) on the Resident Associate Faculty (2005-2008); Alexander Technique Workshops, Sweet Briar, Virginia (2007-2012); the School of Visual Arts (SVA) (1987-1990).
She also holds an MFA in Art Media Studies from The College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University (1982); she received her AmSAT teacher certification in 1995 after training at ACAT; and subsequently undertook extensive post-graduate work in London with Walter Carrington and Peggy Williams.
Nan was appointed to AmSAT’s Board of Directors in 2009, and served an extended tenure as AmSAT’s Chair (2011); she served on AmSAT’s Professional Conduct Committee (2008); Leadership Advisory Council (2012-2014.) Nan has been awarded: AmSAT’s Certificate of Merit (2012).
Nan is also a long standing practitioner of tai chi, various forms of contemplative meditation, and depth psychology.
Lori Schiff, m.AmSAT, is an associate director and senior faculty member of RIAT .She is a full time faculty member of The Juilliard School, and Guest Teaching Artist at the New World Symphony. She has served as the Alexander Technique Teacher on the faculty at The Aspen Music Festival and School, The Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist’s Program, the 92nd Street Y, The Internationale Meistersinger Akademie, and The American Center for The Alexander Technique.
Ms. Schiff qualified at ACAT in 1987. She did post graduate work with the Carringtons and the teachers at The Constructive Teaching Centre in London.She has introduced the Alexander Technique to groups and institutions across the country including Master Classes at The Metropolitan Opera, West Point Military Academy, The San Diego Symphony, Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestras, National Youth Orchestra of China, The New York Youth Symphony, and Aspen Sports Medicine.She has presented classes to Teachers of the Alexander Technique at AmSAT Meetings in San Francisco, Ann Arbor, Las Vegas, New York City, Boston and Minneapolis. She was a guest speaker at The International Congress for the Alexander Technique in Lugano, Switzerland. Ms. Schiff is the founding Director of Flight Feather Productions, LLC.She maintains her private practice in New York City. More information and a link to her video, The Alexander Technique: Musician’s Method for Improvement can be found at www.lorischiff.com
Ariel Carson, m.AmSAT, SEP, is an associate director and faculty member at RIAT. She received her AmSAT teaching certification through Alexander Technique New York City (ATNYC), headed by teachers Nanette Walsh and John Nicholls.
Ariel is also a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, and SE training assistant. She has assisted at The Juilliard School, and guest taught at Boston University where she earned her BFA. She has also been a guest teacher at The Colburn School, and Saint Ann’s School. Ariel previously worked as a teaching artist for the Leadership Program, teaching leadership skills through the arts to under-served students in New York City public schools. She is the organizer of the Healing for Activists NYC chapter. From her work with U.S. veterans, to performers, to activists, to the LGBTQ+ community, Ariel is most interested in teaching the Alexander Technique as part of a holistic and multifaceted approach to cultivating greater sustainability, vitality, and freedom in the body-minds of her current and future clients. www.wavesomatics.com
Caren Bayer, m.AmSAT, received her certification from Patrick MacDonald in London in 1984. Since then, she has maintained a private practice in New York City as well as leading workshops in Australia, Germany, France, Spain, Japan, England, and Canada.
After inheriting Rivka Cohen’s training program, Caren opened Manhattan Center for the Alexander Technique, certifying teachers from 2001-2014. She has been on the faculty of Pacific College for Oriental Medicine and the New School for Social Research. As a former dancer and longtime student of the martial arts, Caren brings 40 years of movement research to her teaching.
Karla Booth, m.AmSAT, has been teaching Alexander Technique for 30 years since graduating from ACAT in 1990. She has taught the Alexander Technique both internationally and nationally, presenting at conferences and teaching workshops to musicians, physical therapists, and movement teachers.
Her dance training and performing as well as her interest in art and music all compliment and instruct her Alexander work. In conjunction with her Alexander work, Karla has spent 30+ years working with Dr. John Diamond a well known Holistic doctor working with creativity. She teaches the Diamond-Dart Meridian Sequence based on the work of Raymond Dart. The Diamond-Dart procedures form a poetic movement meditation that recapitulates the evolutionary and developmental process as well as activating the Acupuncture Meridians, all which greatly raise the Life Energy or Chi. Karla maintains a practice and is the director for the Life Energy Arts Gallery in Westchester, NY. KarlaBooth.com
Silas Harris, m.AmSAT, was one of the youngest people ever to be certified by the AmSAT board at his time of certification. His teaching focuses on playfulness, curiosity, and taking the stress out of self exploration.
Currently, he teaches individual private lessons, and is available for group workshops or specialized classes. Silas is a stage and voice actor, and is passionate about helping people express themselves and find their voices. For more information about his teaching, go to silasemersonharris.com/alexandertechnique.
Peggy Florin, m.AmSAT, MFA (1989) Bennington College, completed her AmSAT certified training( 2014) at the Manhattan Center for the Alexander Technique under the direction of Caren Bayer.
Peggy has been a dancer, choreographer and teacher for many years. Her initial Alexander studies began in the late ‘80‘s, with Kate Judd, and later with Alex Farkas, Giora Pinkas, Eva Karczag and Nanette Walsh. After receiving an MFA in Dance she was appointed to the dance faculty at Bennington College where she taught for twenty years. She then became an Associate Professor of Dance at Bard College, where she teaches ballet, modern dance and the Alexander Technique. In her private Alexander practice, Peggy integrates her years of study of anatomy & movement to awaken and facilitate grounding, ease and expansiveness in her students.
Nadav Nazarathy, m.AmSAT, completed his AmSAT certified training (1600 hours) at Riverside Initiative for the Alexander Technique headed by Nanette Walsh and associate directors Lori Schiff & Ariel Carson.
Nadav is also a jazz pianist in training and holds a degree in jazz performance (BFA, 2017) from the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, where he first began to study the Alexander Technique with Caren Bayer, Rebecca Tuffey and Cynthia Reynolds. Upon graduating the New School, he immediately began his Alexander Technique teacher training and graduated as a certified teacher in 2020. Nadav maintains a private practice of teaching the Technique alongside performances with jazz ensembles in New York and abroad, while also teaching piano in ways which are influenced by the principles of the Technique. Currently residing in Chelsea, New York, Nadav is faculty at the teacher’s training course at Riverside Initiative for the Alexander Technique, while also teaching people from diverse backgrounds individually and in groups.
Max Rosenak, m.AmSAT, is an actor, director, voice coach, acting coach, and an AmSAT certified teacher of the Alexander Technique. He has taught at NYU Tisch, AADA, AMAW, RIAT and more.
He studied voice, text and Shakespeare with master voice teacher Patsy Rodenburg, and is a Rodenburg Registered Teacher (RRT) of voice & text. He received his MFA in Acting from A.C.T in San Francisco and his BFA in Theatre Arts from Boston University. Max has directed Shakespeare productions for NYU-Meisner, The Atlantic Acting School among others. He is is a founding company member of the Seattle living wage theatre company The Williams Project, and has performed with them for the last eight years. He has performed regionally at The Pittsburgh Public, The American Conservatory Theater, The Huntington Theatre Company, The Olney Theatre Center, The Magic Theater among others. Max is co-founder of the Hudson Alexander Technique Collective, and maintains a private practice where he focuses on helping performers cultivate the inner resources needed to express themselves fully and powerfully. www.maxrosenak.com | thewilliamsproject.org
Becky Sandler, m.AmSAT, teaches private and group Alexander Technique lessons in midtown Manhattan, Hudson, NY, and online. On faculty at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, she teaches Alexander Technique as part of the 1st year core curriculum to actors.
Having spent her first year training at the American Center for the Alexander Technique (ACAT), she completed her 3-year, 1600 hour teacher certification at Riverside Initiative for the Alexander Technique (RIAT) where she is now an affiliate faculty member. She has extensive training and experience in education, early childhood yoga, Tai Chi, and movement, and enjoys sharing the benefits of the Alexander Technique with people of all ages. Becky served as assistant teacher of the Alexander Technique to the blind and visually impaired at The Lighthouse Guild, and is committed to helping older persons and people with less mobility discover greater stability, more comfort and ease with daily activities, and less pain and anxiety. In addition to her Alexander Technique teacher certification, she is an accredited teaching member of the largest professional organization of teachers of the Alexander Technique in the United States, the American Society for the Alexander Technique (AmSAT) and holds a Masters of Early Childhood Education from Bank Street College of Education and a Masters of Library Science from the University of Missouri.
Eleanor Taylor, m.AmSAT, is on the faculty of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and maintains a private teaching studio in Manhattan, where she specializes in working with singers and actors to improve performance, prevent injury and reduce anxiety using the Alexander Technique.
She has served on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music and at RIAT, where she currently teaches the Breathing & Voice course for teacher-trainees. This year, she has offered workshops for Respiro Opera, the University of Michigan Musical Theatre program, and the One Voice Centre Intensive program. During the pandemic, she has taught several “Teachers’ Lab” workshop series for AmSAT-certified teachers interested in developing their businesses as Alexander teachers. She has trained in Jessica Wolf’s Art of Breathing and Betsy Polatin’s The Actor’s Secret methods, and holds B.M. and M.M. degrees in vocal performance from New England Conservatory and the University of Minnesota. Eleanor has led Alexander Technique masterclasses for the University of Illinois-Chicago Theatre program, National Opera Association’s Eastern Regional Conference, Music Educators Association of NYC/United Federation of Teachers, the Freedom to Act and Freedom to Make Music Conferences, the Classical Singer Convention and Brooklyn Opera Works’ Summer Vocal Arts Institute. Eleanor is a member of the American Society for the Alexander Technique’s (AmSAT’s) Board of Directors, and the peer-review board for the Alexander Journal. www.eleanortaylorAT.com
Rebecca Tuffey, m.AmSAT, received her teacher certification from ACAT (2004), under the directorship of Joan Frost, and served as volunteer and Associate faculty (2004-2018) on the ACAT Teacher Certification Program.
Rebecca is an Adjunct professor at Pace Performing Arts in the BFA program for Acting in Film, Television, Voice-Over & Commercials and Part-time Faculty at The New School, where she works with students fromJazz, Mannes, and Drama. Rebecca certified with Jessica Wolf as an Art of Breathing Instructor (2010) and continues to explore how the ways in which we breathe intersect with creativity, ease (in body and mind), balance, and movement. Rebecca holds a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College, where she began her encounter with the Alexander Technique in 1994, and she attended the British American Drama Academy (London). Rebecca is an accomplished Alexander Technique teacher, whose private students have ranged in age from 9 to 102 years old. She maintains a dynamic private practice in Union Square, and sometimes, in Astoria, Queens. www.RebeccaTuffey.net
Serena Venditto, m.AmSAT, completed her 1600 hours of AmSAT training at the Riverside Initiative for the Alexander Technique (RIAT) headed by Nanette Walsh and associate directors Lori Schiff & Ariel Carson.
As a recovering perfectionist and chronic over-thinker, Serena learned how to be more present and move with more freedom through the Alexander Technique. Now, she wants to share this work with others who want to connect more fully to themselves and the world around them.