COMPANION

Dilys Carrington

Dilys M. G. Carrington (1915–2009), British teacher of the Alexander Technique.

Dilys Carrington was the Co-Director of the Constructive Teaching Centre and made important contributions to the development of the teacher training programme.

Life

Dilys Jones was born in 1915 in Stourbridge, Worcestershire, she was educated at Kings’ High School for Girls, Warwick, and Bedford College, University of London, where she gained a B.Sc. in Mathematics and Psychology. In 1938 she started having lessons with F. M. Alexander and later in the same year she became his secretary at Ashley Place, the home of his training course and private practice. Here she met Walter Carrington whom she married in 1940. They had three children: Christopher, Richard and Matthew. Dilys started her teacher training with Alexander shortly before his death in 1955, and went on to complete it in 1960 with Walter. In 1960 she became - with Walter Carrington - co-director of their training course, The Constructive Teaching Centre. From 1981 until 2001 Dilys ran the ‘morning’ group (the students in their first year). She developed a logical and systematic set of procedures for hands-on work for first year students which has been adopted by many training courses. Dilys was a very active member of the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique. She was, for many years, an elected and co-opted member of the Society’s Council.

Writings

A short article, ‘Human movement’, was published in the booklet ‘Means to an end’ (1977).[1]

She wrote several brief notes for teachers on subjects such as walking, and the use of hands; these were circulated as photocopies among the students at the CTC training course. During her lifetime only ‘Pitfalls into which most of us have fallen at one time or another’ was published.[2] Others are:

  • ‘Using your hands’ (1984)
  • ‘Going into monkey’ (1985)
  • ‘Thoughts on teaching walking’ (1991)
  • ‘Direction [is multi-faceted]’ (1993)
  • ‘A slightly different way of looking at things [A glimpse of the obvious]’ (1993)
  • ‘Shoulder girdle’ (undated)
  • ‘What I would look for in a teacher’ (undated)
  • ‘The spirals’ (undated)

They were published posthumeously in the collection of writings by Walter and Dilys Carrington, An Evolution of the Alexander Technique.[3]

‘An interview with Dilys Carrington’ by Lynn Nicholls was published in 1988.[4]

Video

There is a brief video of Dilys Carrington showing her teaching hands-on work in 1986.[5]

Descriptions

Her procedures for teaching hands-on skills were recorded in Notes Towards a Method for Training Alexander Teachers by Lynn Nicholls, 1986.[6] Some of her teaching procedures were also recorded in Directed Activities by Gerard Grennell, 2002.

Memories of Dilys Carrington include:

  • ‘Dilys Carrington’ by Carolyn Nicholls.[7]
  • ‘Dilys Carrington’ by Ruth Murray.[8]
  • ‘Dilys Carrington’ by Ken J. Thompson.[9]
  • ‘Dilys Carrington’ by Jean Clark.[10]
  • ‘A great lady’ by Michael Frederick.[11]
  • ‘An education in thinking’ by John Nicholls.[12]
  • ‘Wait, take time, and be present’ by Frances Marsden.[13]
  • ‘Most excellent of teachers’ by Ruth Murray.[14]
  • ‘Quintessential English lady’ by Susan Martin Cohen.[15]
  • ‘Friend, teacher, mentor’ by Alice Olsher.[16]

Obituary

  • ‘Dilys Carrington’ by Alan Philps.[17]
  • Obituary in The Times.[18]

Dilys Mary Gwyneth Carrington *13 June 1915 – †22 September 2009.

References

[1] ‘Means to an end’ (Sheildrake Press, 1977).
[2] ‘Pitfalls into which most of us have fallen at one time or another’ by Dilys Carrington in STATNews vol. 4, no. 15 edited by Malcolm Williamson (STAT, June 1996), p. 16.
[3] An Evolution of the Alexander Technique by Walter Carrington, Dilys Carrington (Sheildrake Press, 2017).
[4] ‘An interview with Dilys Carrington’ by Lynn Nicholls in Direction vol. 1, no. 4 edited by Jeremy Chance (Fyncot Pty Ltd., 1988), pp. 146–47.
[5] Walter & Dilys Carrington Demonstrate the Alexander Technique DVD filmed by Jørgen Haahr (Constructive Teaching Centre, 2016).
[6] Notes Towards a Method for Training Alexander Teachers by Carolyn Nicholls (Author, 1986). Republished as Notes on the Work of Dilys Carrington (2013).
[7] STATNews vol. 7, no. 1 edited by Ann James (STAT, January 2010), p. 23.
[8] STATNews vol. 7, no. 1 edited by Ann James (STAT, 2010), p. 24.
[9] STATNews vol. 7, no. 1 edited by Ann James (STAT, 2010), p. 24.
[10] STATNews vol. 7, no. 1 edited by Ann James (STAT, 2010), pp. 24-25.
[11] AmSAT News issue no. 82, Spring 2010, p. 24.
[12] AmSAT News issue no. 82, Spring 2010, pp. 24-25.
[13] AmSAT News issue no. 82, Spring 2010, p. 25.
[14] AmSAT News issue no. 82, Spring 2010, p. 26.
[15] AmSAT News issue no. 82, Spring 2010, p. 26.
[16] AmSAT News issue no. 82, Spring 2010, p. 27.
[17] STATNews vol. 7, no. 1 edited by Ann James (STAT, January 2010), p. 22.
[18] ‘Dilys Mary Gwyneth Carrington Obituary’ in The Times, 29 September 2009.