Six-week series starts Sun March 30 at Smith Aquatic & Fitness Center. Time: 2:15-3:15 PM. Residents $45/NR $68. Explore the form the Ba Duan Jin / the Eight Section Silk Brocade. Learn this traditional Chinese mediative dance form which cultivates health and vitality. Adapted to all levels of ability. It is fun exercise. Garnett Mellen, the instructor, is certified to teach both the Alexander Technique and Level I Qigong. For more information contact Garnett at 434-422-0961 or visit www.garnettmellen.com. To register go online to https://charlottesville.org/ParksandRec.


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Waltz Class News

The last waltz class had fun. One last session this spring. The next  6-week class runs March 27 thru May 1 from 7:oo-8:oo pm. Garnett teaches with assistance from friends like Rick Martin and Ken Mann. Register at www.Charlottesville.org/ParksandRec.

The spring open waltz events will be held March 20 and May 22 from 6 – 9 pm at Carver Rec Center. Community dance. Bring your friends.
Waltz Class 2

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Happenings: Waltz and Qigong

Beginners’ Waltz Class
March 27 – May 1, 2014
Thursdays 7:00 – 8:oo PM
Jefferson School City Center, Carver Rec, 4th St NW, Cville.
Local residents $54/NR $68

Open Waltz Events
March 20 & May 22, 2014
Thursdays 6:oo – 8:30 PM
Jefferson School City Center, Carver Rec, 233 4th ST NW, Cville.
City residents $8
Recorded music. Everyone welcome. No partner necessary. No need to register in advance. Pay at the door.

March 30 – May4, 2014
Sundays 2:15 – 3:15 PM
Smith Aquatic and Fitness, 1000 Cherry Ave, Cville.
Local residents $54/NR $68

Alexander Technique
On going Sundays drop-in class
1:oo – 2:oo pm
Smith Aquatic and Fitness, 1000 Cherry Ave, Cville
Local residents $8 or Free with Parks&Rec Access Pass

Upcoming classes and events hosted by C’ville Parks and Rec. To register go online to http://www.charlottesville.org/parksandrec or call 434-970-3260.

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Sunday AT Classes

Whisper ahhh and smile! It’s Sunday!

Come join Garnett. She teaches a drop-in class at Smith Aquatic and Fitness Center from 1-2 PM  every Sunday. Set the tone for your entire week with an hour of AT nourishment. Entrance fee is $8 for city folks ($11 for county people) or use a Parks & Rec Access Pass. Love to see you there!

Address: Smith Aquatic and Fitness Center, Campus of Buford Middle School, 1000-A Cherry Avenue, Cville, VA 22903-3491

Cville Parks & Rec Access Pass Special – through Feb 16 – buy a two month Access Pass and get another month free. What a great deal for three months of Alexander Technique classes (plus entrance to other classes, the pool and two exercise rooms). For Cville residents that is $31/per month. For non-residents that is $51/per month. It adds up to be quite worthwhile.


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February First Fridays Special Event at ACAC

Passed Event

Join a member and be a guest for free on February 7  at this ACAC special event — The February First Fridays Alexander Technique workshop with Garnett Mellen and Sara O’Hare.

Want to feel lighter in Body and Spirit?

Give your system a chance to rebalance itself with the Alexander

Technique. Learn to release tension, relieve pain, reduce stress and get your mind and body talking to each other.

A proven approach to self care, the Alexander Technique teaches how to recognize and unlearn habitual patterns that cause unnecessary tension in everything we do. It is used by people of all ages and abilities to relieve the pain and stress caused by everyday misuse of the body.

Friday, February 7, 2014, 3:00-4:00pm

acac Downtown Mind Body Studio A FREE for members and their guest!

For more information, email Sara at sarao@acac.com or John Piller at johnp@acac.comimages-3

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My Skeleton by Jane Hirschfield

My skeleton,JRaynes_CompleteAnatomy002
you who once ached
with your own growing larger

are now,
each year
imperceptibly smaller,
absorbed by your own

When I danced,
you danced.
When you broke,

And so it was lying down,
climbing the tiring stairs.
Your jaws. My bread.

Someday you,
what is left of you,
will be flensed of this marriage.

Angular wristbone’s arthritis,
cracked harp of ribcage,
blunt of heel,
opened bowl of the skull,
twin platters of pelvis—
each of you will leave me behind,
at last serene.

What did I know of your days,
your nights, I who held you all my life
inside my hands
and thought they were empty?

You who held me all my life
inside your hands
as a new mother holds
her own unblanketed child, not thinking at all. –



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ACAC First Friday Alexander Technique Class

ACAC Charlottesville, Albemarle Square Location

If you aren’t an ACAC member, no problem, tag someone who is and come along.

Join Sara O’Hare and Garnett Mellen for a class that will help you find more ease through the Alexander Technique. Learn how to disengage from the Holiday stimuli.  Take a break and release your body’s (and mind’s) tension. The Alexander technique is a way of learning how you can get rid of harmful tension in your body. It is a way of learning to move mindfully through life applying a method that works to change (movement) habits in our everyday activities. It is a simple and practical way to improve ease and freedom of movement, balance, support and coordination.

When: Friday, December 6th. 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Where: ACAC Charlottesville, Albemarle Square Mind Body Studio
Cost: Free to Members, who can bring a guest for free.

For more information, email Sara at sarao@acac.com or John Piller at johnp@acac.com

The ACAC class should be fun, but consider taking private lessons from Garnett at the Medicnin Wheel Building on East High Street, Charlottesville.

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Alexander Technique & Waltz, Together?

Though the Alexander Technique and American Folk waltz are not usually paired, while learning waltz I teachIMG_0116 IMG_0120tools of the Technique.

The way you choose to use yourself dictates your tensegrity. At a dance, manage yourself poorly and you may hurt for a week. Manage yourself well and feel vibrantly connection to yourself, the other dancers, and the event. The Technique defines how to more reliably get that connection.

The Alexander Technique is a study the use of the self. When I talk about the self I mean the mind, body and emotions, all in one human-being package, humming along together. I mean – those moments when everything is just right, you feel great and everything is connected. We can cultivate that ability to connect, and the Alexander Technique offers tools toward developing this capacity.

In waltz workshops I ask students to give attention to the use of the self while learning something new – 3/4 time waltz. The Technique is very practical:
1) remember to go through these steps;
2) think into the body – neck free, head up, feet feeling the floor, knees slightly bent streaming forward, shoulders released, and breath easy;
3) consider the means where by you would accomplish the task at hand, be it a step, turn, swirl, or dip;
4) stop – let go of unnecessary tightening; and
5) carry out the desired movement with as much ease and grace as is possible.
Learning can be fun.

Apply these steps to any pursuit, not just dancing? Use the mind to bring attention (not tension) to the body and direct the use of the self. Apply the Technique and refine the capacity to tune in. The result is coordination of the body, mind and emotions. How nice to tune in when pursuing the things we love.

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Classes & Events

  • Alexander Technique private lessons at the Medicine Wheel Building, 1114 East High Street, Charlottesville. For an appointment contact Garnett at the email address garnettmellen@embarqmail.com or call 434-244-0961.
  •  Alexander Technique Drop In every Thursday 5:30-6:30 PM. Carver Rec Center. Proposed classes. If you don’t see it on the schedule soon, send a request to Parks and Rec for more AT. Pay at the desk or use Access Pass. Group Exercise Schedule. 
  • Beginning Waltz Class 6-Week Series  Nov 7-Dec 19 at 6:30 PM. Carver Rec Center. The classes emphasizes body awareness.  Everyone welcome. No parter necessary. To register in advanced go to www.charlottesville.org/parksandrec  or  call 434-970-3260.  
  • Open Waltz  Oct 24 at 6:30 PM.  Carver Rec Center. Community dance for everyone $8. No partner necessary. Pay $8 at the front desk.
  • For additional information contact Garnett Mellen at 434-422-0961 or email me at garnettmellen@embarqmail.com.
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Quote from F.M. Alexander

It is my belief, confirmed by the research and practice of nearly twenty years, that man’s supreme inheritance of conscious guidance and control is within the grasp of any one who will take the trouble to cultivate it. that it is no esoteric doctrine or mystical cult, but a synthesis of entirely reasonable propositions that can be demonstrated in pure theory and substantiated in common practice.

Man’s Supreme Inheritance – 1910

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