AMMAS 2013 Lychen, Germany.
Every year since 2001, a group of about 40-50 teachers have been meeting somewhere in Europe to exchange work . We have met in France at a beautiful hotel built in an old water mill, in Denmark on the sea, in the Canary Islands on a remote rocky beach where the winds from the Sahara came in the evenings like a blast from an oven, and every second year at Schlusshof, Lychen, a recreation centre with facilities ideal for our work on a lake in the old east of Germany where beer is cheap and tasty and the Germans can swim naked, as they like.
This year we had 50 teachers and a few family members who came for the holiday. 50 is about the upper limit for this meeting, as we like to run just one workshop at a time, to increase the sense of group and inclusiveness. We spend each morning at a workshop, each afternoon but one in work exchange, and have another brief workshop in the late afternoon before dinner. We have a concert on the last night ( many teachers play an instrument, or sing, or have other performance skills) and other evenings are given to dancing Tango, playing group games and, of course drinking beer. I’ve been the default MC for the concert every year since 2001, and can testify that as a profession, we boast a very developed level of performance skill.
Alexander Technique teachers tend to be remarkably ordinary, and I mean that in the nicest way. A person doesn’t sustain themselves through three years of challenging and (usually self funded) expensive training on some pipe dream of being able to “help others”. As a group , we are individuals who are out to help, primarily, ourselves. We tend to come from backgrounds either associated with performance ( and the myriad technical difficulties that arise there) or simple problems with coordination usually accompanied with pain and discomfort.
AMMAS in 2014 will meet in southern Spain. I have a not so secret ambition to host it in Bali, maybe in 2016.