Dance Science/Health Work Placement Reflections 2018-19: VOLUME 2

Trinity Laban Dance Science and Health greatly enjoyed hosting our second work placement student of this year – Lloyd Fernquest! You can read all about Lloyds experiences here..

My week at the Dance Science department in The Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance has been insightful. My aim was to be able to make a more informed decision on what I would like to do in the future, after I finish my dance degree. This definitely is the case as it has given me the perspective of working within a dance science department as well as being a student on the course.

The team at the department was incredibly welcoming and designed a week around my interests within the field. The interests I gave varied and they still managed to accommodate them, which made the week interesting. For example, I said that I would like to see the equipment that they use for screening dancers. Scott Sinclair the lab technician took the time to go through all of the relevant lab equipment and allowed me to use them so that I could gain a full understanding.

This proved useful as well because by the end of the week I helped with a mini screening that they were doing for Roehampton University. Based on the Nidms screening handbook I also designed the pack that was given to the students as well as the table of results they would fill in during the screening. Combined these tasks gave me a much deeper understanding of the equipment used as I was able to learn, and then apply the knowledge gained.

My personal favourite pieces of equipment were the Leg and Back Strength Dynamometer (LBD) and the MetaMax 3B. The LBD as the name implies tests how much power you can generate in KGs with an isometric half deadlift motion. As I enjoy deadlifts, I became very competitive, wanting to get the highest KG that I could. The MetaMax 3B on the other hand tests the V02 max of the person using it. This is someone’s ability to take in oxygen, defuse it in the membrane of the lungs, disperse throughout the body, and utilise that oxygen as energy in the muscles. This interests me as I am running the bath half marathon in a few weeks and it’s one of the best ways of testing cardiovascular fitness.

From an academic point of view, the experience has also been beneficial. Being able to jump in to different lectures gave me an understanding of how the MSc and MFA in Dance Science works. Also meeting like-minded people to discuss ideas with was very stimulating. Giving me new ideas to look into and to apply to my own learning. Furthermore, as I’m doing my dissertation on sleep dependant memory consolidation in dancers, I have found different theses in the library that apply to my research which were very helpful.

In fact, there was also a lecture on Music Memorisation by a guest lecturer Vera Fonte from Portugal. This lecture though not directly relating to my dissertation, gave me great ideas to enhance my own practice and the practice of other dancers I work with.

Overall, the experience at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance has allowed me to practically learn about the world of work that I could be entering after my last year of University. This new perspective has allowed me to make a more informed choice. Also, I had a lot of fun while doing it.

Written by Lloyd Fernquest, Trinity Laban Dance Science/Health work placement student: 25th February – 1st March 2019

Dance Science/Health Work Placement Reflections 2018-19: Volume 1

Trinity Laban Dance Science and Health were delighted to host the first work placement student of the academic year – Hannah Scott! Here are Hannah’s reflections of her week working with us.

I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to gain work experience alongside the amazing Dance Science and Dance Health team at Trinity Laban. I had never before visited the conservatoire but was overwhelmed by its facilities and welcoming staff. Despite my placement being only one week I cannot believe how much I learnt and experienced.

I am currently in my graduate year at Middlesex University working towards my BA honours degree in Dance performance.  Prior to university I completed my dance training at Elmhurst Ballet School followed by working alongside Ballet Cymru on their pre-professional programme. Although I have always been involved in the dance community I have had very limited exposure to Dance Science, despite having a strong interest in the field. The aim of my week at Trinity Laban was to develop my knowledge and understanding of dance science, to both utilise within my practice and also see whether it may be something I wish to pursue further in the future.

Throughout my placement I was given a variety of different tasks and responsibilities to help assist the staff within the department. Unfortunately the current MSc and MFA Dance Science students were away during my week at Laban. However I was extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to speak to almost every member of staff on a one on one basis in regards to their different roles within the department and their relationship with Dance Science. This was extremely valuable for me to discover each individual’s background and their routes into Dance Science.

Throughout my week I fortunate to work closely alongside Lab technician Scott Sinclair. Scott introduced and taught me how to use numerous pieces of equipment used by students on the MSc and MFA programs to collect data and research from dancers. I especially enjoyed learning about the VO2 max test which measures the maximum amount of oxygen an individual can utilize during intense exercise. During the week I was lucky enough to have had the chance to be tested myself. This gave me an insight to see exactly how the equipment worked whilst also learning about my personal cardio fitness and endurance capacity. One of the highlights of my week was putting all I had learnt in the lab into practice by helping assist Scott in his lab demonstration in front of Japanese students from ‘Senzoku Gauken College of Music’. This was great way to test my knowledge from the week and give me another opportunity to use the equipment.

I also worked closely alongside Clinic Administrator Anna Williams and the two Graduate Interns Jessica Lowe and Leanne Steel. It was great to hear about their different journeys into dance science and their positive experiences on the MSc program at Laban. I was particularly interested in Jessica’s thesis in regards to Dancers with learning difficulties. Towards the end of the week I was lucky enough to go and observe a rehearsal alongside Jessica by choreographer/dance maker Sivan Rubinstein. Sivan was creating a piece working purely with dancers with learning difficulties. It was amazing to see these dancers come together and how they were able to recognise different working methods which worked best for them. It was also great to see the response from some of the dancers in regards to Jessica’s project and their enthusiasm for involvement in order to progress her research even further!

During my week I was also extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to speak to both Head of Dance Science, Professor Emma Redding and Program Leader, Liliana Araujo. Both Emma and Liliana gave me valuable insights into the MSc and MFA programs which have now led me to want to apply myself in the future.

I am extremely grateful to everyone I met during my work placement at Trinity Laban and I hope to cross paths again soon!

Written by Hannah Scott, Trinity Laban Dance Science/Health work placement student: 11th – 15th February 2019