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



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. 



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 





Transitions 2018: Q&A with choreographer Richard Chappell

Ahead of Transitions’ 2018 international tour, we caught up with renowned British choreographer Richard Chappell who worked with the company on brand new piece ‘When running starts and stops’. 

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What have you most enjoyed about working with the Transitions dancers?

I would say their generosity in working with me. I like to work with a mix of improvisation and task-based work which I think is a hybrid of my own training and the dancers have adapted to that with a lot of energy and willingness to challenge themselves. As it’s relatively early on in their academic year, they’ve got to know each other throughout the creation process and this has been a real pleasure to be a part of. They bring their own skills, styles and qualities to the work as well and it’s been a pleasure to get to know them.

The 2018 company is truly international – do you think this has had an impact on the style of the company and/or the way you worked with them?

Definitely! Training isn’t necessarily the same across countries so naturally there will be differences and it’s such a unique and enriching experience for them to learn from each other. Lots of the company don’t have traditional dance backgrounds either which I think is really interesting. My own background is ballet and contemporary dance, but I’m also influenced by forms of capoeira, improvisation and martial arts so I like that the dancers come with different movement qualities as it allows for a varied interpretation of my practice. But for all the diversity, I think there is a good balance in skills which combine nicely when the company work together.

In brief, how would you sum up your piece?

My piece is a movement response to the themes and relationships of some of the characters found in Watership Down. I’ve used moments in the text and narrative as a point of departure to create something which lives by itself outside of the story though. The work has its own journey and abstract narrative between the performers and involves a lot of physically challenging movement.

What was your inspiration behind the work?

The work is influenced by Richard Adams’ Watership Down, but it’s not a literal interpretation. I wanted to bring out elements of the relationships between the characters and how their personification makes them relatable to us as a people. Themes of the book such as death, struggle and migration have immense resonance with us as human beings at the moment, and I wanted to explore that sense of personal struggle and journey with the dancers. I work a lot with text and this is a book which I’ve recently rediscovered throughout the creation process which has been a joy to explore, especially as Adams passed away last year.

Why did you decide to do this particular piece with Transitions?

I’ve had the idea for the work in my mind since last year when Adams passed away. The book had an immense impact of some formative moments of my childhood and when I came to really unpicking it, I felt that the energy and themes really suited Transitions. They’re at the start of a really exciting artistic journey and I think it’s a special time to work off a story which resonates both with childlike fantasies and very raw and power human emotions, such as loss, suffering and family.

Transitions was the very first student touring company and recently celebrated 35 years. Do you think it has had an impact/what impact do you think it has had on the dance landscape?

Student companies allow dancers to process their training to date and it’s also an incredibly formative time within a person’s career and life. I know from friends and colleagues experiences’ that they grew as performers and dance artists during their time within various student companies and it’s also a prime opportunity to gain insight into working in a professional repertory company. I’ve had the privilege of working with several graduates from Transitions and its impact on the international dance seen is I’m sure felt by everyone in a very positive way.

It’s almost impossible to get gigs in the industry without having some kind of professional experience, so companies like Transitions offer that bridge and allow for dancers to learn new skills and challenge themselves in a supportive environment, whilst connecting with makers who have a direct interest in working with artists at the beginning of their careers. It’s something I’m very supportive of and feel strongly about. Since 2014, I have always employed recent graduates in my own company.


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

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

Interview: Tara D’Arquian

Ahead of the world premier of the collaborative performance piece ‘Bad Faith’, we caught up with the work’s co-creator and Trinity Laban alumnus Tara D’Arquian. 

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Image: Tara D’Arquian (Credit: Joel O’Donoghue)

Your works often explore identity, what can you tell us about your inspiration for creating Bad Faith?

Bad Faith is part of body of work which started with In Situ, part of Compass Commissions, Trinity Laban and Greenwich Dance Partnership. This is the epilogue of Quests which was the second piece of the trilogy and commissioned by Greenwich Dance.

The whole trilogy is an exploration of identity, the conflict of identity to be more accurate.

We, as human beings seem to be constantly striving to define our self while the self is indefinable. Bad Faith focuses on womanhood and conflicts of identity related to being a woman and the social pressures they are confronted to.

As a young woman, I’ve been exposed to the profound psychological and emotional suffering of older women in my life. The feeling of powerlessness which I experienced as a result led me to put it into movement. By doing so, my aim was first to make sense of these distressing states and attempt at creating value from it. Each piece is the result of a long and collective investigation.

Can you tell us about collaborating with poet Jemima Foxtrot during the creative process?

Collaborating with Jemima has been a great joy. Not only is she a brilliant poet, she is generous and authentic both as an artist and as a person.
It is empowering working with all these strong women, both in the creative team and the cast. I suppose it has also nourished me and my work.

All in all, this has been one of the most human and heart-warming creative process I’ve been part of.

What message would you like people to take from the work?

Hope. Always hope. This time it’s about freedom and courage. I’d like for Bad Faith to make people feel free to be what they want to be and to come to realize that the only limits in life are those of our own mind, which are self-delusions.

Your previous works (In Situ and Quests) have been site-sensitive/specific, can audience expect the same of Bad Faith?

No. Bad Faith is conceived for a more traditional stage environment. That being said, my previous site-sensitive explorations are certainly informing my process while making Bad Faith. Consequently, although it is a piece designed for a traditional stage, we encounter the space as site. Our protagonist is an actress.


Bad Faith | 14 & 15 MAR 19.30h | Laban Theatre

For more information and to book tickets, visit our what’s on page.

Transitions 2018: Q&A with company member Wilhelmina Ojanen

Ahead of Transitions’ 2018 international tour, we caught up with Finnish-born dance artist Wilhelmina Ojanen.

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Image: Wilhelmina Ojanen (Credit: Chris Nash)

How does it feel to be dancing with Transitions?

We’ve become such a strong group. We’re very comfortable with each other and there’s a strong network of trust and support. Everyone has brought different training experiences, styles and strengths. It is such a rewarding process to learn from my fellow dancers as well as from the staff and invited choreographers.

What attracted you to studying at Trinity Laban?

My first experience of Trinity Laban was attending a dance summer school. I liked the atmosphere and the facilities and knew the conservatoire had a good reputation internationally so I came to study on the BA programme.

During my undergraduate I really enjoyed the opportunities to choreograph and perform throughout the three years of the programme. Through this I realised my passion for creating work as well as performing. Studying here as an undergraduate also gave me a great understanding of Transitions Dance Company – I observed first-hand what an amazing programme it is.

I chose to continue my studies with Transitions to develop as a performer and choreographer. I wanted to work in a range of styles and with different creators to learn how to be adaptable. I think it’s so valuable to experience different approaches as a dancer, to see how tasks are proposed, how a vision is developed. This informs my own practise as a choreographer, helping me to better understand what I’m asking my own dancers.

What can audiences expect from the Triple Bill?

I think audiences will be surprised at how different the pieces are and will enjoying being transported from one world to another.

What is your favourite piece to perform and why?

I can’t choose! All three are very good but in very different ways.

I love Hagit’s way of working and her movement style – it’s so human and easy to connect to. It has a generosity that I really enjoy.

We had so much fun in the studio with Jarkko, experimenting and testing things out. It made us close as a group.

Richard’s movement style is very specific and has an extreme physicality – he incorporates a lot of floor work and is influenced by martial arts and ballet – so even before the start of the piece I feel like I need to inhabit his movement world. But through this developmental process has made me feel physically stronger as a dancer.

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Image: Wilhelmina Ojanen performing ‘When running starts and stops’ by Richard Chappell (Credit: Lidia Crisafulli)

In Jarkko’s piece your vision is reduced/restricted as a condition of the work, what’s that like to perform?

Although the condition is quite challenging, it makes your other senses more aware, especially as we’ve been dancing this way since the start of the rehearsal process. In the first rehearsals we just had our eyes closed and now the costume has become an extension of this.

I find the work exciting to perform because where we end up and who we come in contact with is different every time. And I find it endearing in some ways. It’s rather cute how we’re so tentative and exploratory. I think Jarkko wanted to highlight something serious but make it fun and light-hearted.

You feature prominently in Hagit’s piece, tell us more about it.

Hagit described it as an individual trying to move backwards – emotionally, physically – and the group helping them forwards. She’s trying to resist that but also lets the group guide her. I think it’s really poetic.

wilhelmina hagit's piece

Image: ‘The Ar/ct of moving forward’ by Hagit Yakira (Credit: Lidia Crisafulli)

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

I’m looking forward to taking the work to other venues, to see how different stage sizes and different audiences change it, to experience how the pieces will develop as the tour progresses.

And of course I’m particularly excited to go to Finland – I already have a huge list of family and friends who want tickets!

You are Finnish but spent many years in South America. Where do you connect to most?

That is a really good question. I’m very interested in exploring questions of belonging, studying heritage, and investigating how culture influences the way we see things.

Finland is where my family is, but I do miss South America. I carry a little bit in my heart. I also feel like I’ve built a home in London – there’s a lot of opportunity to see and make work, and form connections with people.

You’re one of four Young Associates on Sadler’s Wells inaugural programme, can you tell us a bit more about this?

It’s a two year artist development programme led by choreographer Tim Casson that’s specifically aimed at emerging dance talent and forms a crucial missing step in their Associate Artist family. All of the support offered is designed to develop our own unique artistic and choreographic voice.

This is the first time Sadler’s Wells is running this programme and it’s amazing that such a prolific creative institution is offering support for young dancers.

Our first commission is for the Lilian Baylis for Oct 9-10th as part of the Sadler’s Wells 20th Anniversary celebrations, which is really exciting.

What’s next?

Right now I’m concentrating on performing and choreographing. I want to focus my energy on the tour and the Sadler’s Wells programme. Further ahead, I’d like to teach and share my work in that way.



Transitions 2018 Tour | 19 February – 24 May

For full tour details and to find out more about Transitions Dance Company, visit

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


By Robyn Donnelly (Press & PR)


Whilst in America for the Trinity Laban in New York reception, we caught up with two dance alumni who are living and working in New York City and found out about how they have built their careers there. This week we talk to Dylan Crossman who graduated with BA (Hons) Dance Theatre in 2006. After graduating he joined the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and now has a full and diverse freelance career. 


Why did you chose to study at Trinity Laban?

I grew up in France and started dancing when I was ten. For two years, I took contemporary and ballet classes at the Conservatoire in Montpelier in addition to attending regular school. In my teens, after a few years’ break from dancing, I was doing improvisation, ballet, jazz, hip hop and contemporary.

I had a Limon teacher who knew about Trinity Laban and so I auditioned there and for the Winnipeg Ballet. I chose Trinity Laban as I decided I wanted to pursue a contemporary dance training rather than ballet and also because I wanted to be based in London.

What was it like coming to Trinity Laban as an International student?

I didn’t feel lonely, I felt welcomed. There were a lot of international students in my year and there was a sense of community in the year group. I had a job in a bar as well and that helped to make friends outside of Trinity Laban. 

Shortly after you graduated, you joined the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Tell us about your journey to America and joining the Company.

In the summer between my second and third year, Julia Gleich, one of my teachers at Trinity Laban recommended that I take part in Burklyn Ballet Theatre, an intensive summer programme In Vermont, USA. Through one of the teachers I met there, I was offered a part in the Nutcracker in Key West and after I graduated I moved to New York. I enrolled on a programme at the Cunningham studio, got a scholarship, and as soon as I began I knew that’s why I started dancing, it made complete sense to my body.

After six months a space opened up for a new understudy so I went to Merce [Cunningham]’s Assistant, Robert Swinston, and said that I was interested. I was told to take company class and that ‘Merce will decide’. I did one class and Merce said yes!

By that stage Merce didn’t go on tour with the company anymore, so when they were away he constructed new work on the understudies and I got to work with him a lot. He was so curious; to him you were like a problem to solve. I was an understudy for two years before being hired into the company and I was in the company for the two year farewell tour. It was an intense and amazing experience.

You now have a very busy career as a performer and choreographer. What are you working on at the moment?

Right now I am performing at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) in Brooklyn in a piece called Buffer by visual artist Xavier Cha. As well as dancers there are also actors and an opera singer in the cast. I’m also working on new pieces with Pam Tanowitz and Kimberly Bartosik, both of whom I have worked with before, and am continuing to develop my own work including showing a new piece at the Cunningham centenary celebration. I also teach at Sarah Lawrence College and Purchase College and am choreographing a piece for the students at Purchase which will be performed next spring.

How did your training prepare you for your career?

I was given responsibility for my own training whilst at Trinity Laban. We were exposed to so many things, every kind of dance, analysing dance, music for dance, dance on film, choreography, Labanotation, so I had to choose what to focus on. This planted the seed for life as a freelancer, you have to take responsibility and manage your own work; administration, tax, funding, paying for classes and paying dancers.

And finally what are your top tips for current students?

Be patient and trust people in charge of your training, but break rules because you need to learn to listen to yourself and your instincts also. Challenge yourself as freelancer. And do more cross training and aerobic exercise! You’ll need it as a performer.


10 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 the theatre as a group to see everything you’ve learnt during the week put into practice on the professional stage. Last year, we took a trip to 42nd Street, featuring TL alumnus Zoe Rogers.

4. “With an assist from me to be who you’ll be”

You will have the chance to book 1-1 consultation lessons and get advice from our expert tutors on singing and acting technique, presentation skills and repertoire – a fantastic opportunity to get audition ready!

5. “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.

6. “What good is sitting alone in your room?”

This year we are thrilled to offer accommodation to our Take the Lead participants. This will give you the chance to truly eat, sleep and breathe Musical Theatre for a week and fully soak up the buzzing atmosphere of the summer school. Book fast as there is limited availability!

7. “You can wow ’em every time, all you haveto 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.

8. “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!

9. “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.

10. “We’re in the money”

Get all of this for less! Book before 1 March 2018 and benefit from our fantastic early bird offer for a discounted rate on the whole course cost.

Find out more and book your place at 

Transitions 2018: Q&A with choreographer Jarkko Partanen


Jarkko Partanen, Church of the Internet (Image credit: Simo Karisalo) Jussi Mankkinen / Yle

Ahead of Transitions’ 2018 international tour, we caught up with acclaimed Finnish choreographer and Trinity Laban alumnus Jarkko Partanen who is working with the company on a brand new piece. Jarkko is a founding member of multidisciplinary arts collective WAUHAUS, which recently won the prestigious annual Finnish State Award for Performing Arts.

The 2018 company is truly international – do you think this has had an impact on the style of the company and/or the way you worked with them?

Transitions is a company with its own identity and I think the group is fantastic. It’s really nice to have such a diverse group of people from different backgrounds, with very different skills, but who work really well together and complement each other.

What have you most enjoyed about working with the Transitions dancers?

At WAUHAUS we have a very collaborative creative process, which I have tried to keep in my working method with Transitions. It’s my responsibility to arrive at a point where the dancers feel they can take the piece and make it their own. As I usually work with people I know well, there is a certain level of trust and dialogue and understanding, which needs to be built here in a short time frame – just five weeks!

And in this scenario, it is a bit of a challenge to have a process-oriented rather than product-oriented working method. But it’s been going great so far. There’s been a lot of laughter and playfulness which is good and they are adapting to the continually changing and refining process and they work very professionally. I am very happy with this collaboration!

What was your inspiration behind the work?

The piece continues two trajectories I have been interested in continuing from previous works: touch and obscuring the body. In Playhouse (2017), we looked at different ways of physically encountering strangers in a performative setting, and in Flashdance (2016) the performers’ bodies were completely hidden throughout the performance.

I am interested in transforming the body – something that is always cultural and carries representation – into something else that can go beyond gender, and can challenge the norms of how we look at the body on stage. I think there’s something beautiful in limiting our senses and how we perceive things, so that the norms of watching meet the limitlessness of our imagination. We are challenged by whom or what we are looking at.

Combining these two trajectories of touch and obscuring, and finding a balance between them, is what’s interesting. In this piece the dancers have limited vision whilst on stage, which affects how they are on stage, how they interact, how the piece is experienced. The light, sound, stage design and other elements or materials – such as costumes – become intrinsically linked to the choreography. Together, they create a condition for the performers and audience. These create the movement vocabulary of the piece rather than me applying a “signature movement language” or something like that that I have shaped over the years. I consider every piece to have its own specific physicality.

You typically work in less traditional performances spaces. Have you had to adapt your choreographic style for the tour venues?

I don’t usually work in theatres with a proscenium arch, where the stage is very separated from the auditorium. The performance space brings another set of questions regarding how the audience engage with the performance. And of how to bring other senses into play rather than just ‘watching’. I would say it’s a challenge, not a limitation.

Transitions will perform at The Theatre Academy of Uniarts, Helsinki as part of their international tour. What will it be like to see the company dance your work in your home town?

I haven’t really thought about it yet, but of course it’s exciting! Of course I’m looking forward to the whole tour, and particularly to seeing my piece within a triple bill, which will add a whole other context. It will be interesting how the pieces will communicate with each other.

You studied dancing at Trinity Laban as an undergraduate. What was your time like here and how has that influenced you?

One of the reasons I applied and chose to study at Trinity Laban was the ability to experiment and learn choreography from the beginning. That was very influential for me, as it was very clear to me that I wanted to choreograph. I don’t think I’ve ever really imagined myself as a dancer. So to collaborate with so many colleagues and find people who were interested in working with me was very powerful. As was working with and observing the choreographers who created the newly commissioned works for us in my final year, which gave me greater insight into different creative processes. I really liked my time here, I felt very supported by the institution, and the Laban Theatre is one of the most beautiful theatres I’ve worked in.


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

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