The School has an injury rehabilitation provision to help students better understand and recover from injury and/or prevent them from developing chronic injuries. There is a cross faculty best practice commitment and intention for an integrative approach.
Peer support is actively encouraged in the ethos that training is an act of community.
Close communication and collaboration between the Well-being Co-ordinator, Bodywork Supervisor and Lecturers, support each student’s unique journey. Including, weekly review between the Bodywork Supervisor and the Health and Well-being Co-ordinator.
The Bodywork Supervisor delivers individual Injury Support Sessions with a student centred approach. These include rehabilitation considerations; rest, active rest, supportive exercises, suggestions for class modification, alternative timetable if needed, and advice regarding treatment plan (including external provision). A major part of this process is providing students with self-assessment skills as a way of developing engagement with injury. For example, students will be asked to employ a Self-regulation Worksheet to track the pattern of an injury and the process of somatic patterning/re-patterning toward healthy function. This will also be used by cross curricula staff to monitor progress.
These run weekly as part of technical classes. They are an opportunity for developing somatic awareness by restoring energy and re-organizing the body in terms of injury recovery. The intention of the class is to create energetic and structural balance through an amalgam of Somatic Movement practices (experiential anatomy, developmental and evolutionary movement, BMC, yoga, Pilates). Learning involves solo explorations, partner touch re-patterning work, as well as group exercises.
The Bodywork Studio area has a range of equipment to aid students in working with the body Including, Pilates machines, free weights, proprioceptive aids, cardio machines and a stretching/restorative area.
The School works in collaboration with local osteopathy, physiotherapy, acupuncture and massage providers to support the recovery from injury. The provision is subsidised by the school to ensure all students can access treatment. This happens in close consultation with the Bodywork Supervisor in order to ensure effect return to class and/or rehearsal. We offer help and support in finding a local GP and other NHS services – if a medical route is necessary (i.e. specialist consultations, scans etc.)
NSCD is committed to provide a safe and healthy environment to train dance artists but the NSCD courses and assessments can be physically demanding. In addition, dance skills by their very nature include elements of risk, including injury. Whilst we take reasonably practicable measures to reduce or eliminate these risks, it is not possible to eliminate them all. For this reason, we encourage students to consider taking out private health insurance to support with any medical treatment that they may require. Health care can be obtained free of charge from the NHS but waiting times for treatment are unpredictable and may result in disruption to and interruption of studies. A useful resource on health insurance is One Dance UK: https://www.onedanceuk.org/resource/health-insurance-dancers-companies/
Bodymind Learning is a curricular class in the Performance in Context module which looks at a range of somatic approaches to exploring resources that we can cultivate in ourselves to enable a grounded and supported movement. Experiential anatomy and principles of somatic psychology offer frameworks that develop inquiry into the processes of human psychophysical development and movement potential. An inquiry to the embodied relational practice for performers enables recognition to what qualities of ‘presence’ emerge when we attend to the body, ensuring that the dance artist can be adaptable in their response to the changing demands placed upon them in the studio, the rehearsal environment and performance. These skills are encouraged to be actively employed as a preventative measure to injury.
These sessions often run during the week at lunchtimes to support balanced practice and a restoring for the nervous system, led by a cross faculty team. In addition, there is an NSCD commissioned rest session available for all students on the NSCD Virtual Learning Environment, enabling students to access this wherever they are.
Research in this area is ongoing. Cross faculty collaborations are integral with regular attendance to conference and workshops relating to dance and health, in house and at external intuitions, as well as through Erasmus exchange. A recent study of ‘periodisation’ training has taken place and informed the organisation of curricula delivery.
The Student Blog, Northernisms, is a platform for raising awareness to all aspects of student life. Many students have used it as a forum to express their journey through an injury from both the physical and psychological aspects.
Students can contact any member of staff at any time should they be concerned with an injury, who will signpost them appropriately.