To a certain subset of the New York City dance community, Gail Accardi is known as the Body Whisperer. For her part, Accardi calls her work “creative physical problem solving.” Whether she’s leading her Anatomy Awareness class for dancers, substitute-teaching Simonson Technique, or working with a private client one-on-one, Accardi has a clear vision: “I want people to gain insight into and learn to celebrate their individual structures,” she says. “When I was young, a teacher referred to my weak arches as a horrible defect! I never want a student to experience that. When it comes to anatomical variations, this is who you are, so let’s figure out how to work with it.”
March Technique – How Gail Accardi teaches anatomy awareness.
Gail Accardi works with dancers and nondancers, especially those experiencing pain, injuries, alignment challenges and physical impediments of many kinds. She has been teaching since 2002 and is currently on faculty at Peridance Capezio Center. She also maintains a private teaching practice serving dancers and dance companies. She has previously led open classes at Dance Space Center/Dance New Amsterdam and taught kinetics in the Joffrey Ballet School’s Trainee Program, as well as training clients at Chelsea Piers. She holds a Pilates certification through Balanced Body and is certified to teach Simonson Technique. In her work, she draws on experience and ongoing study of dance, Pilates, anatomy/kinesiology, somatics, and other moving and healing practices.
After completing her MFA in dance from SUNY Brockport in 2008, Sheiline McGraw began studying Simonson Technique under Laurie De Vito and Diane McCarthy. She has performed in their works, as well as those of other Simonson teacher-choreographers.