‘From the Coal Face’
Teaching Feldenkrais® on UK Vocational Drama Trainings
Keywords:Feldenkrais Method, acting, drama schools, vocational drama training
My intention in this article is to offer some insight into the practicalities and exigencies of teaching Feldenkrais for student actors within a vocational training in the UK and how it differs from teaching the public or even university students. This is based on my own experience of teaching for ten years in UK drama schools and also draws on my twenty years as an actor and theatre maker. There is a growing number of articles, chapters and even books (including my own recent publication ‘Feldenkrais for Actors’ (Worsley 2016) for academics, teachers and actors about the various relationships between acting and Feldenkrais, but this article seeks to address the very specific demands vocational courses put on a Feldenkrais Teacher and to offer some thoughts about ways to work within those constraints. Until recently, only a very few of us were teaching in vocational drama schools in the UK as opposed to teaching on university drama courses, dance courses or performance courses with a broader artistic remit. All these situations are different to teaching the public, but I also believe that while there are inevitable cross-overs, the aims and intended outcomes of all these kinds of courses are also different to each other, so I am keeping this discussion to what I have found specific to vocational drama schools in the UK. Over the last few years, more of these schools have begun to include the Feldenkrais Method® in different ways, and there appears to be a hunger amongst practitioners to discuss the issues this brings up. Given this article is based on my experience, it cannot be a complete picture, but my hope is that it might be, nevertheless, a useful contribution.