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

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