Michelle Sargent

Singer, actor, aerial coach

“Kate Conklin is by far the best Alexander Teacher for performing artists that I have experienced. She is eloquent and passionate in her approach. She is dedicated to your clear understanding of the technique, as well as your own body, and how your nervous system and brain communicate with it. I have never experienced another teacher so devoted to my fully experiencing and understanding this technique. I have studied Alexander in Berlin, San Francisco and LA, the Alexander Technique is my touchstone as an artist, and Kate Conklin is the perfect teacher!

As a multi-faceted performing artist who loves to explore the strange and new, I often find myself singing, acting, and moving in challenging circumstances. Whatever those circumstances are, whether it’s singing opera in an unwieldy 15lb headdress, doing aerial fabric suspended from an 80- foot tower, or simply surviving a grueling schedule of rehearsals and shows, I find that the Alexander Technique is a vital component in all of my work.

In my acting and voice-over work, I use Alexander to moderate nervousness and adrenaline in performances and auditions, as well as for breath support and clarity in my elocution of difficult texts. As a singer I have found that AT has completely opened up my voice! More colors, more richness, better range, and consistency throughout my range and through my passagio. What a liberating feeling to sail through passages that used to completely stress me out! As a physical comedian and mover, I turned to the AT to heal, recuperate, and continue working after a major cervical spine injury in 2009. And using the AT helps me continue to move healthfully and safely through aerial and ground choreography.

The understanding I have developed through this technique has completely revolutionized how, and what, I teach in my practice as a choreographer and aerial movement coach. Whereas before I concentrated on students developing the pure muscular strength to execute their work, I now focus on working from the architecture of the skeleton outward, instead of from the large outer muscle groups inward. This approach, directly influenced by my work in Alexander Technique, has improved the learning curve, and minimized injury in my students greatly!

As I go deeper and deeper into the practice of this technique and find that I am physically and mentally freer, I find that the quality of my work has grown exponentially, and my pure enjoyment of what I do as well. I am easier on myself emotionally, while still continuously improving in technical excellence. I feel that the practice spreads to all areas of my life. I am more aware of my breath, of where I am in space, and consequently of what is around me and how I relate to it, and how I am a part of it.”