About Me

Tessa_Chandlrer_Photo_by_Cristobal_Vivar18765

A lifelong student of movement and the body, I have taught varied approaches to embodied awareness since 2004. I was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, and began my movement career as a ballet dancer with the Alabama Ballet, Vienna State Opera Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, and Dutch National Ballet. Unhealthy in the ballet world, I moved to New York City to earn an undergraduate degree at Columbia University’s School of General Studies (B.A., English, Dance, and Writing). Repeated mentions of “Feldenkrais” at the 2001 Bates Dance Festival led me to seek out this unique somatic practice and ultimately join the 3.5-year New York Feldenkrais Practitioner Training Program, directed by David Zemach-Bersin. During my Feldenkrais training, I resumed dance performing with Molissa Fenley and other contemporary choreographers; pursued theater and composition studies; began to teach ballet at Barnard College; and worked as a contemporary dance booking agent and artist representative for Elsie Management and Jodi Kaplan and Associates.

From 2003-2016, I held an adjunct faculty position in the Dance Department at Barnard College, teaching ballet and modern technique courses and originating a course in the Feldenkrais Method® at the invitation of Chair Mary Cochran. In 2010, I earned my Master of Fine Arts degree in dance from Hollins University/American Dance Festival, a life affirming site of radical pedagogy under the direction of Donna Faye Burchfield and Thomas DeFrantz. Feldenkrais teaching engagements during this time included the Paul Taylor Summer Dance Intensive; Trisha Brown Dance Center; Feldenkrais Institute of New York; New York Conservatory of Dramatic Arts; World Dance Americas General Assembly (Salvador, Brazil); American Dance Festival; Gibney Dance Center (with Kathy Westwater); Hollins University; Princeton University; and Columbia University’s Union Theological Seminary.

In September of 2014, I opened Inwood Movement, a neighborhood movement education studio where I offered individual and group sessions alongside other practitioners of related disciplines. From 2016-2018 I completed the first Ideal Organization and Profound Strength (IOPS) Academy, an 18-month post-graduate Feldenkrais practitioner training program directed by Jeff Haller, Ph.D. During this time I also began functional strength training at Eoghan O’Kelly’s Hanuman Health Club, which inspired me to attain a Level I Certification in Movnat, a fitness method oriented around re-learning movements needed for human survival in natural environments.

My aim is to serve the greater good through the cultivation of embodied awareness. Since 2012, I have had the honor of practicing at Inwood’s unique community dojo, Aikido Up Here, and, since 2018, studying with Master Sat Chuen Hon, founder of the New York Dantao Qi Gong School. From 2018-2019, I completed a 9-month instructor apprenticeship at Wild Earth, an organization offering nature connection mentoring, which led me in 2019 to transition to living and working part-time in the magnificent mid-Hudson Valley, where I am currently offering individual Thai yoga massage and Feldenkrais sessions. Contact theinfinitemovements(at)gmail(dot)com to schedule.

 

Photo: Cristobal Vivar – Vivarphoto.com

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