The Importance of Rest!

As we know, a typical day in the life of a dancer can be highly demanding, physiologically, psychologically and emotionally. Conservatoire dancers who may be exposed to long training hours and a heavily practical daily workload could be at a heightened risk of injury, as a result of fatigue from insufficient rest. Previous studies documenting the rest-work ratios of professional dancers have highlighted trends whereby common dancer injuries, such as sprains and strains, were often a result of fatigue from training.

Fatigue has been defined as “extreme tiredness, weakness or exhaustion—mental, physical, or both.” Once fatigued, the ability to perform movements requiring complex skill is compromised.

“Dancers from previous studies considered fatigue and overwork to be major contributing factor to their injuries…” 

A lack of rest can take its toll on the technical aspects of a dancers practice.  This can negatively impact alignment, heighten inefficient biomechanics, and place stress on the muscles and joints which can only be tolerated to a limited extent before injury occurs.

Augmented rest– what is it and why does it matter to me?

As is often the case for dancers, designated break or rest times are used for things like warm-up/ cool-down, rehearsal and stretching.  The busy life of the dancer may also mean that this time is used for frantically running around trying to complete all of your errands in one go as there are simply not enough hours in the day. But is this really rest? Dance scientists are working actively to assess how dancers can use their (albeit short) breaks in the most effective way to rest, recover, consume and digest food for energy, and to prepare for the rest of the day.

Image result for dancers need rest

Image: One Dance UK (Photograph by ASH)

HOW CAN I REST I HEAR YOU CRY!?

Ever heard of somatics?

Somatics balances rest and action which can have positive implications for technique and creative practice, as well as general well-being and personal authority. In resting, a student is encouraged to observe themselves with attention to residual sensations, novel organisation of their self-image, and a general state of open awareness to their present experience. From within this reduced activation, a re-calibration of self-organisation occurs that allows for more freedom of choice when reactivating movement.

Rest and recovery in Somatic Practice

  • Restful reflection
  • Using imagery
  • Listening to the presence and quality of movement

Consider..

  • Feldenkrais technique
  • Ideokinesis
  • Alexander technique
  • Sweigard’s constructive rest

Written by Jessica Lowe, Graduate Intern for Health and Dance Science

References:

Batson, G., & Schwartz, E. (2011). Revisiting the value of somatic education in dance training trough an enquiry into practice schedules. Journal of Dance Education. 7 (2), 47- 56

Twitchett, E., Angioi, M., Koutedakis, Y., & Wyon, M. (2010). The Demands of a Working Day Among Female Professional Ballet Dancers. Journal of Dance Medicine and Science. 14 (4), 127- 132

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reflection on the 6th Annual Dance Science Networking and Careers Day

The 6th Annual Dance Science Networking and Careers Day

On June 15th, Trinity Laban Dance Science hosted the 6th Annual Networking and Careers Day. Current and prospective students, past graduates, and industry professionals came together to discuss the status of dance science and the pathways to pursuing a career in this field. Presentations covered career journeys in dance science and conducting research in different contexts. Dr. Liliana Araujo, programme leader of Dance Science, moderated a panel of industry experts talking about the opportunities and challenges in dance science. The day was bursting with exciting conversations between old friends and new about how to move forward in dance science.

DSC_6947

Kayla McClellan, a first year MFA student, attended the event. Below is her reflections on the day.

Tell us a bit about what the event was about…

The networking day was a time and space to listen to individuals’ interactions with the Dance Science field. It spanned the spectrum of those with an initial interest in the field, to students practicing Dance Science, and professionals working in the field.

What compelled you to attend the event?

As a current MFA in Dance Science at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, I found it important to interact with peers outside of the conservatoire. This provided me with an even more robust picture of what types of research and work are being produced right now.

What was the highlight of the event for you and why?

I found the socializing parts of the event to be the most beneficial. We were given many opportunities to further unpack what others had presented on a more personal level.

What was the key ‘take home’ message that you got from the event?

My key ‘take home’ message from the event was that the Dance Science field is rapidly growing; however, it’s important to keep in contact with your peers in order to progress it in the most effective and efficient way possible.

DSC_6952

What would you say to IADMS student members who might consider attending a similar event? 

I would tell them to absolutely attend, it’s so important to be in situations that challenge and sometimes shift your perspectives. After all, the dance art-form is continuously shifting and we must keep up with those involved.

Written by Elizabeth Yutzey, Graduate Intern for Dance Science and

Kayla McClellan, Current MFA Dance Science Student at Trinity Laban

 

Work Placement Reflections: Dance Science & Health

For the past week, I have been able to work closely with both the dance science and dance health departments at Trinity Laban. I gained many valuable insights into the research that is undertaken, the MSc programme and the many roles and responsibilities of all the wonderful staff.

I have just finished my second year studying BA (Hons) Dance Studies at the University of Roehampton where I have modules in dance science and I am also an ambassador for One Dance UK, therefore I have close links with NIDMS. Although my course does not have a compulsory placement, I applied to do a placement at Trinity Laban by choice to develop my knowledge and learn more about career paths and programmes. The MSc at Trinity Laban was the first MSc in Dance Science available, therefore its reputable status and outstanding facilities and staff enticed me to come and undertake a placement. Whilst it was a non-standard teaching week, and the current MSc students were hard at work on their ‘Whole Dancer Study’, I was kept very busy and engaged with a variety of tasks and responsibilities.

Personally, an area that I wanted to expand my knowledge on was the equipment and processes used to tackle research and collect data. Before the week, I only had a basic understanding of what some of the equipment was without ever visually or kinaesthetically working with it. I spent the week working closely with the lab technician Scott Sinclair, who taught me valuable lab skills and how the skills can be applied to research. Whilst at first glance the reality of remembering the theory and application behind the equipment was slightly daunting, I instantly got hands on with it all and got a real taster of what researching using the equipment entails. The most exciting aspect of it all was being able to observe a POP screening on two lovely young dancers (aged 11 and 12). It was a chance for me to see all the tests including; VO2 Max, Beighton/Brighton and Bioelectrical Impedance in action. I was fascinated to see the screening being performed by two minors and it sparked many questions throughout the day and from the results about the screening being undertaken by physically developing children. Working within the lab and also being able to observe student self-practice sessions, I was able to enhance my understanding within the area of physiology which I previously hadn’t had much exposure to. Throughout my placement, lots of questions and research ideas have been generated which I will hold on to potentially for the future.

In the dance health side of Trinity Laban lead by Rachael Emms, I was able to learn about the health clinic and the wide scope of therapies available. I was given a taster of what some of the therapies are including; craniosacral, acupressure and acupuncture are and the benefits they have for dancers. I was given a taster of some of the therapies that Trinity Laban offer through a marketing photoshoot that happened for promoting the services. This also included being involved in the screening photoshoot in the lab myself.

One of the most valuable parts that I will take away from the week is the new connections I have been able to build with the wonderful and inspiring staff. Alongside working with and talking to Scott and Rachel, I spent a lot of the week with the three current Graduate Interns; this included Dance Science MSc graduate and Health Graduate Intern Rebecca Appleton, Dance Science MSc Graduate and Dance Science Graduate Intern Anna May Williams and MFA candidate and Dance Science Graduate Intern Elizabeth Yutzey. All three spoke enthusiastically about their time on the course and it was interesting to hear about their varied thesis’ from hypermobility to creativity, as well as their current roles at Trinity Laban. I was able to have conversations with the Head of Dance Science Professor Emma Redding and the Dance Science Programme leader Dr Liliana Araújo. Emma and Liliana inspired me greatly both in their achievements in research and their on-going success in academia. It was extremely beneficial to be able to talk to them in detail about the MSc in Dance Science and rewarding to have conversations with them about my growing areas of interest.

Overall, my week at Trinity Laban has been a gratifying opportunity. Everyone I had the privilege to meet were very welcoming and it was lovely to feel like part of the team. My passion for Dance Science after this week has matured and grown and I am eager to learn more and have a career in the dance science industry.

Thank you everyone and I hope to see you all again soon!

Beth

7 reasons to Take the Lead…

Take the Lead is a 5-day summer course, perfect for aspiring performers of all abilities  who want to experience the training on offer at Trinity Laban’s esteemed Musical Theatre department. Here are our top 10 reasons to Take the Lead this summer:

1. “All that work and what did it get me…”

…it got our tutors to the West End stage! All Take the Lead tutors are Musical Theatre professionals with countless theatre credits to their names. They will guide you through a week of training, giving you tips and advice along the way.

2. “There’s a place for us, somewhere a place for us”

That place is Trinity Laban! Come and spend the week at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and experience what it’s like to study at one of the UK’s leading conservatoires. You’ll have access to our award-winning facilities and get a real taste of theatrical training at degree level.

3. “There’s no business like show business”

We couldn’t have a week of Musical Theatre without a trip to the West End, could we?! On one evening of the week, we’ll head to Garrick Theatre as a group to see everything you’ve learnt during the week put into practice on the professional stage in Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein!

4. “We go together”

Take the Lead is a fantastic opportunity to meet and train with people who share the same interests as you. People of all ages come from all over the world to participate in the summer school, offering the perfect opportunity to make connections within the industry.

5. “You can wow ’em every time, all you have to do is shine”

Take the Lead will make a fantastic addition to any CV or further study application. As well as developing your skills, attending the summer school will demonstrate your passion and commitment to your musical theatre training.

6. “I wanna be like you”

Meet Trinity Laban’s successful alumni and ask them all of your questions about their journeys from Trinity Laban to the professional world of theatre!

7. “You are the Dancing Queen”

Due to high demand, Take the Lead now offers two levels of dance classes so you are sure to find a class to suit your skill level and experience.

Final places remaining! Find out more and book your place today at: trinitylaban.ac.uk/takethelead 

7 super reasons to join Trinity Laban’s Young Musicians’ Summer School

The Young Musicians’ Summer School is the perfect opportunity to meet new people, develop your skills and have some fun! With many different activities over three days, you can pick and mix workshops or opt for a 3-day course.

1.Pick’n’mix your courses

Create your perfect Summer School! Choose from our amazing selection of courses and combine them in a way that works for you.

2. Work with inspiring tutors

tutors_479x375.jpg

Get a taste of what it’s like to study at a leading conservatoire with our fantastic Junior Trinity tutors and workshop leaders. Who better to learn with than professional musicians at the top of their respective industries?

3. Be the next Ed Sheeran

Ever fancied giving looping a go? How about songwriting? With a wide array of new and exciting courses on offer, you can try something new and leave with brand new skills.

4. Make new friends

This year, we’ll be joined by participants from all over the world, from France to the US! Young Musicians’ Summer School enables you to make new friends and learn about music-making in other countries.

5. Perfect for all musicians, whatever your skill level

gallery_2b_1262x1086

We offer junior and advanced levels for our Jazz, Percussion and Guitar courses so whatever your ability or prior experience, you will find a course to suit your level.

6. Get ahead of the game

As well as our short courses, we also have a selection of 3-day courses designed to support students’ studies. For musicians aged 15-18, our A-Level Preparation Course prepares and supports students with A-Level Music and for participants aged 14-18, Music for Film offers support and learning opportunities for young composers.

7. Experience conservatoire life

KCC_external_lo_res_15_PS_1050

Create music at our World Heritage Site campus in Greenwich! Hear your music echo around the courtyard, stand on the spot where huge Hollywood blockbusters were filmed, take a selfie in front of our beautiful building and experience life at London’s Creative Conservatoire.

For more information and to book your place on the Young Musicians’ Summer School, visit trinitylaban.ac.uk/ymss.

Transitions 2018: Q&A with company member Paola Drera

Ahead of Transitions’ 2018 international tour, we caught up with dance artist Paola Drera.

paola resized

How does it feel to be dancing with Transitions as it celebrates its 35th year of touring?

It’s an honour to be part of Transitions. Not many dancers in Europe have the chance to experience an MA in dance performance and I feel privileged to be a trannie in such an important moment for the company.

What can audiences expect from the Triple Bill?

The audience should expect emotions, physicality and visual effects.

What is your favourite piece to perform and why?

I don’t have a favourite piece. I love how all of three challenge me in a different way.

In Jarkko Partenen’s Lovers your vision is reduced/restricted as a condition of the work. What’s that like to perform?

Touching and hearing become essential. You start to look through your palms. You realise people are close to you because of their breathing, the sound of their feet and the movement of their costume. It is fascinating how other senses counteract the lack of vision.

What are you most looking forward to ahead of the tour?

I look forward to performing with my fellow dancers. They have become my new family here in London and we can’t wait to show what we have discovered in this past 13 weeks of the creative process.

 

By Robyn Donnelly (Press & PR)

 

Transitions 2018 Tour | 19 February – 24 May

For full tour details and to find out more about Transitions Dance Company, visit www.trinitylaban.ac.uk/transitionsdc

To find out more about studying dance at Trinity Laban, visit our pages.

 

10 reasons to apply for CPMM

The Certificate: The Practice of Music Making is a one-year programme developed by Trinity Laban in partnership with The Open University. It offers adults with a passion for music the opportunity to develop their practical music making and performance skills. Here are our top ten reasons to apply:

1. Innovative blended learning

Designed in partnership with The Open University, Trinity Laban’s The Certificate: The Practice of Music Making offers all music-makers an accessible opportunity to develop their practical and performance skills whilst gaining a qualification with a world-leading creative conservatoire.

tk_10418_110_final

2. All music-makers welcome

“As an adult amateur viola player, who only started learning to play the instrument several years ago, I have already benefited from the course in various ways: from learning about different approaches to practice sessions and rehearsals to dealing with performance and performance related challenges.” CPMM student, 2017

The Certificate is perfect for amateur musicians of any genre and instrument. It’s suited for those who make music regularly with others in any type of genre or setting, from amateur orchestral players, DJs, or Samba drummers to folk musicians.

tk_10418_030_final-e1525960882520.jpg

3. A new approach to Practice and Performance

Feel unconfident to perform or rehearse in a group? Struggling to have meaningful practice? The Certificate can help you to increase your understanding of your own music-making and explore the musical ideas and practice employed by a range of musicians. This learning can be applied to your performance, practice and rehearsal in your own setting, whatever that may be.

4. No audition necessary

You don’t need to audition to gain a place on the programme; it’s all about how you engage with new musical ideas rather than your technical or performance ability.

tk_10418_137_final

5. A world-class teaching team

“The quality of the teaching was outstanding…All the tutors were friendly and supportive, and their enthusiasm was infectious and created the right kind of ambience for adult learners” CPMM student, 2018

The Certificate brings together a diverse range of tutors from Trinity Laban and The Open University to support you in your studies, practice and music-making, along with opportunities to engage with established musicians working in a variety of genres.

tk_10418_022_final

6. Bitesize learning

The course is designed to enable you to fit study within your life. The programme consists of a mix of online tutorials, listening, video, reflective journals and short assignments with around 16-18 hours study per week recommended.

7. An Easter Residential in Greenwich

“Such a fantastic experience. A chance to perform and create with musicians from so many different genres. Very well organised. We were well supported. There really was time for everyone to shine. Perfect end to an amazing week.” CPMM student, 2018

“To get the chance for a whole five days at a London Conservatoire with like-minded musicians was something I never thought I would get the chance to do.”  CPMM student, 2018

Students take part in an inspiring week-long Residential at Trinity Laban’s World Heritage Site home. Meet your fellow students in person to make music, take part in practical workshops, discussion groups and masterclasses, all culminating in a celebratory open sharing performance.

KCC_external_lo_res_15_PS_1050.jpg

8. Gain a qualification from a world-leading conservatoire

“Having played with instrumental groups and sung in choirs since my youth, the course has been highly informative and invaluable in consolidating my prior experience and in providing new insights into the practice of musical performance. And having the opportunity to study at a music conservatoire with the academic rigour expected of a Level 3 OU course has been a bonus”. CPMM student 2017

Gain a Level 6 standalone Higher Education qualification certificate, or if you are enrolled with The Open University, the Certificate counts as a 60 credit OU Level 3 module within your degree or other qualification.

9. International applicants welcome

We welcome applications from all over the world, as long as you can attend the Easter Residential. Fees are consistent for all students.

tk_10418_006_final

10. Be part of a vibrant musical community

“I really enjoyed the performance because of the fact that there were so many people from diverse musical backgrounds coming together to make music as one.” CPMM student, 2018

The supportive atmosphere within the student cohort really aids the development of your music-making. The virtual learning environment supports open discussion and fascinating debate and is a great opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with people who share your love of music.

To find out more about CPMM and to apply, visit trinitylaban.ac.uk/cpmm or email the programme team: admincpmm@trinitylaban.ac.uk.

tk_10418_198_final