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

News Blast: TL Dance Science & Health in Helsinki 2018

Over 50 Trinity Laban faculty, students and alumni headed off to an international conference in Helsinki last month!

The Dance Science team along with MSc, MFA, PhD students and alumni had the pleasure of attending the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS) annual conference in Helsinki, Finland. The conference spanned across four-days and was attended by dance science enthusiasts from all over the world to learn and share new knowledge about the growing field of dance medicine and science.  The event consisted of talks, poster presentations, interactive workshops, movement sessions, round table discussions and debates. Topics included sleep, training load, injury, psychology, hypermobility, creativity and many more. The presenting speakers were of varying professional backgrounds including doctors, physiotherapists, psychologists, educators, scientists and dancers.

Those who attended from Trinity Laban included Professor Emma Redding (Head of Dance Science), Dr Liliana Araújo (Dance Science Programme Leader), Dr Lucie Clements (Lecturer in Dance Science), Elsa Urmston (Lecturer in Dance Science), Anna Williams (Health Clinic Administrator) and Leanne Steel (Dance Science Graduate Intern). Faculty, alumni and current students all contributed to the conference through podium and poster presentations, or by facilitating workshops and movement sessions.

 

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Trinity Laban faculty, alumni and current students.                 Photography: Elizabeth Yutzey

 

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Current and previous Trinity Laban Dance Science faculty members. Photography: Elizabeth Yutzey

 

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Professor Emma Redding represented Trinity Laban by introducing the AJG Howse Memorial Lecture on Management of the dancer’s hip. Photo credit: Julie Ferrell

For several of our students and alumni it was their first time attending the IADMS annual conference while many others have attended year-on-year. See below for thoughts and reflections from our students and alumni.

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Photo credit: Lauren Copping

“I had an incredible experience in Helsinki attending my fifth IADMS conference. It was not only wonderful to see how many Trinity Laban students, alumni, and staff were in attendance, but it was also great to meet or reconnect with researchers from other institutions. During the conference, I also had the opportunity to present my MFA research for the first time post-submission. It was really exciting to share my project and to receive such encouraging feedback and questions from the other attendees.” Lauren Copping, Year 2 MFA student 16-18

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Photo credit: Farah Md Fadzali

“It was the first IADMS conference I attended and it was a really great experience! It was amazing to listen to the latest research findings and how these can be applied in practice. Additional sessions catered to students allow you to connect with your peers around the globe. IADMS is a great opportunity to follow the latest research findings and be surrounded by other researchers, scientists, and teachers, who share the same interest and passion for dance and science!”
Hannah Jussli, MSc Student 17-18

“A great event offering a compact source of inspiration, great for gaining insights into unpublished research and scientific findings and a significant opportunity to network.”Farah Md Fadzali, MSc Student 17-18                                                                                           

“As a new Master’s student, I loved having the opportunity to meet dance scientists at all stages of their career and seeing what the trends in current research are. It was very eye-opening to where the field is heading, what it is still lacking, and the opportunities that await!” –Julie Ferrell, MSc Student 18-19

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Current 2018-19 MSc students and teaching team.  Photography: Reina Zi Teh

“IADMS Conference you were AMAZING! 100% inspired by the work and great people in this field. My brain was stimulated, overwhelmed, thought flooded and I loved it! Can’t wait for next year.” -Freya Simmons, MSc Student 18-19

“I am really grateful I had the opportunity to attend IADMS as a current MSc Dance Science student at Trinity Laban. I learned a lot about the current research being done in the field, which gave me numerous ideas for my own research project. I also met so many different people who are all really passionate about dance medicine and science, both peers and professionals that I hope to stay connected with as I prepare to start my career in dance medicine.” -Stephanie Pittman, MSc Student 18-19

This year we were delighted to have nineteen presentations by Trinity Laban faculty, alumni and students. See the list below of all our presenters!

IADMS presentations

Trinity Laban in action! Photography: Dr Liliana Araújo
Professor Emma Redding & Leanne Steel

Trinity Laban presenters at IADMS 2018 Helsinki

Appleton, R., Clark, T. A qualitative analysis into perceived factors associated with psychological readiness to return to dance following injury(Rebecca Appleton)

Araújo, L. From inspired dancers to inspiring teachers: same passion, role satisfaction and commitment to excellence within multiple professional roles(Dr Liliana Araújo)

Ascenso, S. Mind the mind: findings on mental health in dance. Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. (Sara Ascenso)

Chambers, K. Movement efficiency for dance proficiency: an exploration of individual neuromuscular activation patterns and guided application of techniques to maximise movement potential. (Katy Chambers)

Clements, L., Clegg, H. A mixed methods study of performance anxiety in vocational dance students. (Dr Lucie Clements)

Clements, L., Lefebvre-Sell, N., Redding, E., & May, J. ‘I wouldn’t really call it dancing’: the role of expertise in assessing contemporary dance creativity. (Dr Lucie Clements, Naomi Lefebvre-Sell & Professor Emma Redding)

Copping, L., Clements, L., & Redding, E. Dancer’s experiences with memory and strategies used to improve upon it. (Lauren Copping, Dr Lucie Clements & Professor Emma Redding)

Grossman, G., Redding, E., & Nordin-Bates, S. The porous boundary between dance, art and science: perspectives from dance science, physical therapy and psychology. (Professor Emma Redding)

Harman, G., Redding, E., & Holmes, P. Investigating the phenomenon of dance and music performance through the experience of the performer. (Gemma Harman, Professor Emma Redding & Patricia Holmes)

Lewton-Brain, P. Searching for efficiency of movement: the mesentery and its relationship to dance movement. (Peter Lewton-Brain)

McGrew, M., Mitchell, S., Descoteaux, J., Meder, C., Alvarez, A., Anker, S., & Steel, L. Dance science in the digital age. (Madison McGrew & Leanne Steel)

Mitchell, S., McGrew, M., Anker, S., Alvarez, A., Meder, C., Descoteaux, J., & Steel, L. Student and young professional networking workshop. (Madison McGrew, Sutton Anker & Leanne Steel)

Moravcikova, S. Physiological demands of Brazilian zouk social dance in healthy adults.(Simona Moravcikova)

Nordin-Bates, S., Schwarz, J., Quested, E., Cumming, J., Aujla, I., Redding, E.  Disordered eating attitudes among dancers: a longitudinal study of between and within-person risk factors (Professor Emma Redding)

Paschali, A. The effect of dance-specific aerobic training: An investigation into cardiorespiratory capacity and attitudes towards supplementary cardiovascular training of female dance students. (Anastasia Paschali)

Pooley, A., Clements, L. & Araújo, L. Exploration of emotions and creativity in a choreography class: a literature review (Alexandra Pooley, Dr Lucie Clements & Dr Liliana Araújo)

Sakuta, A., Clements, L. Methodological challenges of dance psychology research: obstacles and future avenues.  (Aska Sakuta & Dr Lucie Clements)

Shi, M. The motivational process in Chinese vocational college dancers: An investigation in the perceived autonomy support, basic psychological needs satisfaction and motivation characteristics. (Menggian Shi)

Squires, L., & Sarah Needham-Beck. Recovery during high intensity intermittent exercise in female vocational contemporary dance students. (Lauren Squires & Dr Sarah Needham-Beck)

Williams, A., Redding, E., Coleman, J., Beach, F., Quin., E & Clements, L. A 10-year retrospective study of contemporary dance students’ standing active turnout. (Anna Williams, Professor Emma Redding, Jessica Coleman, Felicity Beach, Edel Quin, Dr Lucie Clements)

Wyon, M., Allard, G., Nenander, F., Morris, M., & Rafferty, S. Embedding dance medicine and science into teaching and learning (Maggie Morris & Sonia Rafferty)

Yutzey, E., Redding, E. & Clements, L. The evaluation of existing creativity measures in dance and suggestions for a dance-specific measurement tool. (Elizabeth Yutzey, Professor Emma Redding, Dr Lucie Clements)

 

We are looking forward to next year’s IADMS conference already!

Report compiled by Trinity Laban Graduate Interns
Jessica Lowe and Leanne Steel

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Variety of Uses for Sports Massage

What is sports massage? 

Sports massage is a type of therapy that focuses on the soft tissues in the body. This includes skin, muscle, tendons, ligaments and fascia which is a form of connective tissue that lines other soft tissues. Sports massage involves the manipulation of these soft tissues and can also include different massage techniques and types of stretching

 

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Image: Sports massage, JK Photography 

What is sports massage suitable for?

Sports massage can be suitable for dealing with many different conditions from sport related overuse issues, to back pain from your office chair. These benefits can be split into four main areas; injury, maintenance, pre-event and post-event.

Injury:  Sports massage has many benefits that can help reduce the risk of injury as well as be used for remedial purposes to help reduce tightness and pain. Sports massage is great at helping to detect muscular imbalances and any potential deep tissue damage which can result in a reduced risk of injury. A key benefit of sports massage is increasing blood flow through the tissues which can lead to faster recovery times and reduce the delayed onset of muscle soreness (or DOMS for short).

Maintenance: Having regular massages can help to keep muscles healthy and supple and can reduce the need for future treatment. Studies have shown that having regular sports massages can help to improve range of motion and flexibility. This in itself can also contribute to lowering injury risk, especially among dancers, for whom flexibility is desired. Having regular massages can also help to identify any particular areas of tension or stress and can increase your overall awareness and education surrounding your body. This can in turn help you to improve your performance and self-manage any conditions you have.

Pre-event: Feeling nervous and tense before a show or performance? Sports massage can stimulate circulation through the body and reduce tension which can be beneficial to help you be on top form before that audition!

Post-event: Sports massage can be just as useful after an event! It can help speed up recovery times, remove toxins and waste products from the body, de-stress you and help fight any delayed muscle soreness you may feel the following day. 

 

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Image: Sports massage, JK Photography 

Sports massage is one of those treatments which can be used in a variety of different ways, and is most effective when used regularly. So whether your a performer, office worker or athlete sports massage can be a useful tool to help maintain a healthy body and banish those tense muscles when they arise!

 

Written by Rebecca Appleton 

Graduate Intern for Health