COMPANION

Jean Clark

Jean Clark (1933 –2021), British teacher of the Alexander Technique and Head of Training.

Jean was born in 1933 and went to school in Streatham, London. She became an entomologist at the Natural History Museum. She had worked at the Natural History Museum for seventeen years when she first heard of the Alexander Technique, going on to train with Walter Carrington 1966–69.

During her training Jean was introduced to the Dart procedures which became a  frequent part of her teaching. She was also keen on the application of the Alexander Technique to the use of the eyes.

Jean had a busy teaching career, teaching both in her flat in Wimbledon and travelled widely as a teacher. She was a regular guest teacher, along with several others AT teachers, at the International Academy for Continuous Education, J. G. Bennett’s residential school/community in Sherbourne, Gloucestershire. In 1977, together with Don Burton, John Nicholls and Robin Simmons, she taught on the first UK residential course for the Alexander Technique in Wales, the first of many residential courses, both in Wales and Totnes.

Over the years Jean was a frequent guest teacher at many teacher training courses, among them Aksel and Jeanne Haahr’s training course (Totnes), the Alexander Technique Associates (in Old Street, London), the Cumbria Alexander Training (Fellside), and the Alexander Technique Studio (London). She gave regular workshops in Berlin and was a visiting teacher at the Ausbildungszentrum für F. M. Alexander-Technik Berlin. She was a co-director of the New Alexander School (later the Hampstead Alexander Centre) from c. 1988 to c. 1997 and ran her own training course 1997–99. She gave workshops at home and abroad, including Germany, South Africa, Australia (and visiting Tasmania with Marjory Barlow), and the US, including residential workshops in Ojai, California. Jean often attended the International Congresses from 1988 to 2008 at which she also gave presentations, and was a STAT moderator from the inception of the system in 1994. Jean also served as a trustee on the F. M. Alexander Trust for some years.

Highlights of her teaching life are related in her article ‘Forty years with the Alexander Technique’ (published both in the 2008 Congress Papers and the AmSAT Journal). A revised and later version was given as the 2009 STAT F. M. Alexander Memorial Lecture, ‘Five decades: By your pupils you’ll be taught’.

About the last ten years of her life were marred by the rare condition of cerebral vasculitis (giant cell arteritis) and the side-effects of high-dose steroids. Before her death she distributed her considerable collection of AT books and material to teachers and students.

Writings

‘Forty years with the Alexander Technique – F. M. Alexander Memorial Address 2008’ by Jean Clark.[1] [2]

Obituary

‘Jean Clark’ by Jean M. O. Fischer.[3]

Remembrances

  • ‘Jean Clark’ by Robin John Simmons.[4]
  • ‘Jean Clark’ by Diana Devitt-Dawson.[5]
  • ‘Jean Clark’ by James Gray6.[6]
  • ‘Jean Clark’ by Sandra Antaki.[7]
  • ‘Jean Clark’ by John Edwards.[8]

Jean Clark *23 June 1933 – †29th March 2021.

References

[1] ‘Forty years with the Alexander Technique – F. M. Alexander Memorial Address 2008’ by Jean Clark. Part I in AmSAT News issue no. 77 (Summer 2008), pp. AGM15–AGM20.
[2] ‘Forty years with the Alexander Technique – F. M. Alexander Memorial Address 2008’ by Jean Clark. Part II in AmSAT News issue no. 78 (Winter 2008), pp. 20–26.
[3] ‘Jean Clark’ by Jean M. O. Fischer in STATNews vol. 11, no. 2 edited by Jamie McDowell (STAT, May 2021), p. 33.
[4] ‘Jean Clark’ by Robin John Simmons in STATNews vol. 11, no. 2 edited by Jamie McDowell (STAT, May 2021),  p. 34.
[5] ‘Jean Clark’ by Diana Devitt-Dawson in STATNews vol. 11, no. 2 edited by Jamie McDowell (STAT, May 2021), p. 35.
[6] ‘Jean Clark’ by James Gray in STATNews vol. 11, no. 2 edited by Jamie McDowell (STAT, May 2021), p. 36.
[7] ‘Jean Clark’ by Sandra Antaki in STATNews vol. 11, no. 2 edited by Jamie McDowell (STAT, May 2021), p. 36.
[8] ‘Jean Clark’ by John Edwards in STATNews vol. 11, no. 2 edited by Jamie McDowell (STAT, May 2021), p. 37.