July 18

AT Connect – Mick Gleeson


Contact details including website:

I don’t currently have a dedicated teaching space, as I’m in an in-between phase in my life. I’ve just recently moved to Adelaide and am working in paid employment as I need to recoup the money I lost on my business during COVID.

Mobile: 0400 299 407
Email: mickgleeson123@gmail.com

How did you get into the AT?

I remember reading about the AT in a book when I was about 17 and thinking it made a lot of sense, but then forgot about it for the next 10 years. In the meantime I trained as a Physiotherapist, but after working for a while I felt like there was something missing. I happened to see Michael Gelb’s ‘Introduction to the Alexander Technique’ in a bookshop one day and after reading it I knew that I needed to follow up on it. It was 1984 and was living in Hobart. There were no teachers in Tasmania  at the time but I found out there was a residential workshop on the Mornington Peninsula coming up, so I booked myself onto it. It was run by Jeremy Chance, and David Moore was  a third year trainee helping him out. After my first lesson I knew I had to train.

Where and when did you train?

I trained in Melbourne in 1987, 1988 and 1989. Jeremy Chance was there for the first Term but John and Carolyn Nichols, Duncan Woodcock, Rosie Fayman, Raziya Ross and Dominique Jacques were the regular teachers over the next three years.

What sort of practice do you have? (e.g.. mixed, mainly actors, groups, individuals etc.)

I have always liked to work with a wide range of people. Over the years I have also dipped in and out of other workplaces where the Alexander Technique supports what I am doing. I have worked in Special Schools, and I have also worked with people with vision impairments: training them to travel independently in the community using long canes and mobility devices. I did some research on the Alexander Technique and Fall Prevention in older adults with vision impairments, so I’ve given lots of lessons to that demographic. I’m currently working in that space with Guide Dogs SA/NT in Adelaide.

What’s your favourite thing about AT?

I like the way that people reach a point where they keep on progressing on their own – I like the fact that you make yourself redundant and give people a skill they can take away and apply for themselves.

What do you love about teaching?

It love it when people have that ah-ha moment, when they start to see the possibilities that the AT has to offer.

Is there anything you find difficult or challenging?

It can be hard when you feel that your pupil is not ‘getting it’ – it is easy to start trying to make it happen for them – but that just gets in the way. Staying back and letting people learn at their own pace and in their own way is always the way to go, but not always as easy to allow as we would like to think it is.

What’s coming up for you in your AT life?

I’m currently working in paid employment as my AT practice collapsed during COVID and I need to recoup the money I lost. I still give a few lessons but I’m mainly working on myself while my bank balance recovers.

Who has been an inspiration, mentor or memorable positive influence on you in the AT world?

Hard question as most teachers give you something to think about. The teachers who worked on my training were obvious early influences, but then I lived in the UK for 13 years, so was exposed to lots of other teachers there. I worked on John and Carolyn Nicholls course in Brighton for 7 years after training in Melbourne so that felt like I retrained a couple of times over. Lessons with Walter Carrington and Peggy Williams were memorable as well as visits to the Lansdowne Rd training course, but I really like going to the congresses and working with teachers from other traditions to keep me on my toes.

Any tips for other teachers?

Don’t forget about the Whispered Ah.

What do you get up to outside of AT?

I like getting out into nature, so I do a lot of bushwalking. I also like cycling – I’ve done 3 long distance cycle tours. Brisbane to Victoria in 1980, Adelaide to Alice Springs in 1986 and then an 800km ride down the Mekong River in North-East Thailand in 2017. I also like pottery, reading and cooking (and eating obviously).

Anything else that you would like to include?

I think there is a lot more to the AT than we imagine when we first get involved, and it slowly gives up its secrets as time goes on – it’s so much more than just “freeing your neck”. I had my first lesson in 1984 and I’m still a beginner.

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