Davian ”DJ” Robinson, a dance and exercise/sports science double major, has been selected to present at a national conference at Columbia University in New York City, June 26-30. Entitled “Our Community's Future: Diversity, Equity and Belonging,” the conference is a meeting of The American Society of Alexander Technique (AmSAT). Davian will present a workshop and discussion, “Sensory Beyond Sight,” which draws from his experiences as a vision impaired dance major, performer, and choreographer. The workshop explores how eliminating sight as a sense helps dancers find new movement and experience their bodies in new ways. Davian will also discuss the needs of sightless dance students and how instructors can work to fulfill the learning needs of diverse students.
While at the conference, Davian will also perform at the historic Alhambra Ballroom, made famous by Bessie Smith and Billie Holliday. Other performers come from the Alexander Technique teaching community, including British-Jamaican singer Chyna Whyne and a movement choir choreographed by Rachel Bernsen and Rachel Kauder Nalebuff.
Named for F. Matthias Alexander, an Australian actor and movement theorist, Alexander Technique is an educational method used worldwide for more than 120 years. By teaching how to change faulty postural habits, it improves mobility, posture, performance, and alertness and can provide relief of chronic stiffness, tension, and stress. This year’s conference explores ways in which Alexander Technique can benefit under-served and/or historically disadvantaged communities.
The conference came to Davian’s attention through Lisa First, an AmSAT Certified Instructor of Alexander Technique with a practice in Charlotte. A former UNC Charlotte student, First holds a master’s degree from Wesleyan University in Connecticut, and studied Alexander Technique in Boston. Since 1993, First has operated East/West International Dance Exchange, a not-for-profit working primarily in Russia and Eastern Europe.