COMPANION

Lulie Westfeldt

Lulie Westfeldt (1898–1965), U. S. teacher of the Alexander Technique.

Life

At the age of seven she had poliomyelitis, the scars of which caused her some disability. On the advice of a friend she went in 1929 to London where she had lessons with Alexander. She joined the first teachers training course in February 1931, qualifying in 1935. She taught in New York from 1937 until her death. She ran a teachers training course in the 1940s (from which Judith Leibowitz qualified in 1949).[1] [2] (Alma Frank writes in a letter in 1947: ‘Evidently Lulie is training teachrs already.’[3])

Writings

Lulie Westfeldt’s experiences of her lessons and of training with Alexander are related in her book, F. Matthias Alexander – The Man and His Work (1964).[4] It contained the first published criticism of Alexander’s personality and character. (Marjory Barlow, in her review of the book in 1966, disagrees with several of Lulie Westfeldt’s views.[5])

Lulie Westfeldt issued some newsletters to her pupils, of which only one copy survives.[6]

Video

Lulie Westfeldt appears in the Barstow film footage published in the DVD F. M. Alexander 1949-50.[7]

References

[1] The Alexander Technique by Judith Leibowitz, Bill Connington (HarperCollins, 1990), p. 3, 5.
[2] Dare to be Wrong by Judith Leibowitz edited by Kathryn Miranda (Mornum Time Press, 2007), p. 23.
[3] Alma Frank letter to Eric Estorick 1947 (Jean M. O. Fischer collection).
[4] F. Matthias Alexander: The Man and His Work by Lulie Westfeldt (Mouritz, 1998 [1964]).
[5] Review by Marjory Barlow of F. Matthias Alexander: The Man and His Work in The Alexander Journal no. 5, 1966, pp. 30-31. Also reproduced in the 1998 edition of F. Matthias Alexander: The Man and His Work, pp. 168-70.
[6] Lulie Westfeldt newsletter 19 May 1939. Walter Carrington Educational Trust archives.
[7] F. M. Alexander 1949-50 DVD narrated by Walter Carrington (Mouritz, 2010).