“Keep It Simple”: The legacy of Deborah Caplan
My strongest recollections of Debby’s teaching was how elegantly simple and practical she was. The clarity of her teaching is evident in these video clips (Debby training third year teachers and teaching a first lesson).
Debby made certain the teachers she trained understood the nature of body mechanics, center of balance, velocity and the difference in people’s structure. She always kept her teaching clear and concrete.
Debby’s legacy was captured in her book, Back Trouble, and in the video The Alexander Technique: Solutions for Back Trouble, produced by The Balance of Wellbeing. Originally published paperback in 1987, ACAT has formatted the eBook version of Back Trouble to preserve Debby’s legacy, now available through Amazon.
Deborah Caplan, one of ACAT’s original 5 founding members, was the daughter of the novelist and essayist Waldo Frank and of Alexander Technique teacher Alma Frank, who trained with F. M. Alexander. At age 10 Deborah joined Alexander’s Little School for children in the US. Deborah was a dancer with the Pearl Primus and Jean Erdman companies. She obtained a M.A. from Hunter College and a master’s degree in physical therapy from New York University. In 1956 she joined the department of physical therapy at the Rusk Institute, New York. In 1964 she started a private practice, specialising in back problems. She was Senior Faculty at ACAT until retiring from the faculty and in 1997 founded the Deborah Caplan/Alma Frank Scholarship Fund to benefit potential ACAT students.