Faculty

Faculty

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

Nanette Walshm.AmSAT, M.F.A., M.A. Union Theological Seminary, is founder and director of RIAT, and the Executive Director of Sapientia Initiative, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Nan is author of Unsmudged: An Encounter with Peggy Williams, a First Generation Teacher of the Alexander Technique, published in 2018, and she recently received her Masters from Union Theological Seminary (2021), with a concentration on Psychology and Systematic Theology. Before founding RIAT in 2014, and Sapientia in 2019, she co-founded Alexander Technique New York City (ATNYC) (2005-2014); taught at the American Center for the Alexander Technique (ACAT), Resident Associate Faculty (2005-2008); Alexander Technique Workshops, Sweet Briar, Virginia (2007-2012); NYC School of Visual Arts (SVA) (1987-1990). She and holds an MFA from The College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University (1982); qualified as an AT teacher from ACAT and received her AmSAT teacher certification in (1995); and subsequently undertook extensive post-graduate work with Walter Carrington, Peggy Williams, and Pearl Ausubel. 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); Certificate of Appreciation: (2013 & 2014). She is also a long standing practitioner of tai chi, various forms of contemplative meditation, and depth psychology.

Lori Schiff

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
www.flightfeatherproductions.com

Ariel Carson

Ariel Carsonm.AmSAT, SEP, is an associate director of RIAT as well as a faculty member. She received  her teaching certification (1600 hours over 3 years) through Alexander Technique New York City (ATNYC), headed by teachers Nanette Walsh and John Nicholls. She has assisted at The Juilliard School, and taught at Boston University where she earned her BFA. 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. Ariel also utilizes her training as a Somatic Experiencing practitioner to help people release and resolve trauma. 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.redefiningposture.com


Caren Bayer

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

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

Silas Harris is a new teacher of Alexander Technique. Certified in 2021, he is one of the youngest people ever to be certified by the AmSAT board. Silas was trained at the Riverside Initiative for the Alexander Technique by the program led by Nanette Walsh. 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, go to silasemersonharris.com/alexandertechnique, or contact him directly at SilasHarrisAT@gmail.com.

Peggy Florin

Peggy Florinm.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

Nadav Nazarathym.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. Originally from Israel, Nadav has been residing in Brooklyn, NY since 2015.

Max Rosenak

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

Eleanor Taylor

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

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

Serena Venditto, m. AmSAT, completed her AmSAT certified training at Riverside Initiative for the Alexander Technique (RIAT) headed by Nanette Walsh and associate directors Lori Schiff & Ariel Carson. Prior to her training at RIAT, Serena earned her Bachelor’s degree in Theatre Performance and Musical Theatre at Rider University. Since then, she has worked plenty of desk jobs in Manhattan and she is excited to share what she has learned about Alexander Technique with many others who are tired of leaving the office in pain from sitting at a desk all day!