About Victoria M. Hyatt,
PT, DPT, m.AmSAT
I came to the Alexander Technique through my dancing. As a dancer I put a lot of attention into thinking about my body and how I moved.
I studied Ballet extensively as a child and teenager, and then later switched my emphasis to Modern Dance. I earned my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, and then moved to New York City where I studied at the Erick Hawkins School of Dance and performed with several independent choreographers and small dance companies.
My first experience of the Alexander Technique was in a weekend workshop and it made a deep impression on me. I marveled that someone could place hands on my head and neck and elicit such profound change in how I felt and moved.
My best efforts to perfect my dance technique had led to a lot of tension in my body, and while my dance teachers had brought it to my attention, I didn’t have a physical understanding of my tension. Yet with a simple, light, and non-invasive touch, I felt my head balancing on my spine and all my movement felt so light and easy.
I experienced myself so differently, and in a way that I didn’t know was possible. I knew from that first exposure that I would train to become a teacher and I immediately began to take weekly private lessons. The training to become a Teacher of the Alexander Technique entails a 1600-hour course of study, spread over a 3-year period.
I trained to become a Teacher at the American Center for the Alexander Technique (ACAT) in New York City, earning my certification in 1992. I then began my private Alexander practice. Because I wished to deepen my understanding of human anatomy and physiology as well as kinesiology and biomechanics, I went on to earn both a Master of Science and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy at Duke University in 2000 and 2001 respectively.
In addition to teaching the Alexander Technique, I also practice Physical Therapy at IU Health Methodist Hospital in downtown Indianapolis. I feel blessed to be able to bring together the many different ways that I have studied human movement to help those with whom I work reach greater physical potential and/or relief from pain and related limitations in their lives.
Movement is inherent to every aspect of living. The ongoing process of to learning to free my body of restrictions and feel energized at any moment I chose to pay attention continues to be a gift of enormous magnitude. That I can share that gift with others through my teaching of the Alexander Technique makes that gift even greater.
About FM Alexander
Frederick Matthias Alexander (1869-1955) was a professional Shakespearean actor whose successful career nearly ended due to his chronic laryngitis. Neither resting his voice nor medical treatment resolved his problem. Thus, he set upon what would be nearly a 10-year journey of extensive self-observation and experimentation in order to try to determine the cause of his vocal problems and resolve it.
Alexander became aware of faulty movement patterns in his speech concerning his breathing and vocal cords, as well as excessive tension in his neck that was present in all his activity. In particular, he noticed that these patterns were very pronounced when he attempted to project his voice as if he was on stage.
He discovered a way to stop the patterns of tension that were interfering with his vocal production and in so doing restored his voice and his ability to perform. In addition, these changes he made in his coordination had further-reaching beneficial impacts on his overall health and functioning.
He later found that his work was able to help others with problems such as back and neck pain, breathing issues, poor posture and more. In addition to giving lessons to individuals, FM Alexander ultimately trained others to be able to teach what he had learned, which is what we now know as the Alexander Technique.