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Education in Dance and Somatics

*the information on the academic year 2019 – 2020 is under construction and will be finalised in January

It is a 2, 4, 6 and/or 8 month course that introduces somatic movement and dance practices. The emphasys is in how to facilitate groups using a somatic approach. It also offers opportunities to explore how to integrate these practices into wider society. Our interest is to offer a somatic education to people engaged in diverse fields and to support them to integrate and make use of what they learn in their personal and working lives.

The education emphasises experiential learning, somatic methods, movement exploration and improvisation, creative process and art as a diverse cultural practice, self-knowledge and group process. Education is offered in the form of a mixture of regular classes, workshops and special projects.

The course is suitable for anyone interested in any of the following:

  • movement and dance, somatic methods and creative process
  • movement and dance as artistic practice
  • dance and somatics in arts, social welfare, health and education
  • gaining experience and skills in facilitating groups
  • art and dance movement therapy
  • community and participatory art
  • In selecting a group to study together for the year, we aim to bring together people with diverse backgrounds, skills, knowledge and different approaches to working.Classes are taught in English. The education takes place at the Eastern Finland Sports Institute in Joensuu.

The Academic Year

The year is divided into two semesters and four modules. The education is full-time with weekly morning classes, workshops and projects. The studies consist of group learning prcesses and individual processes.

In group studies, attendance is mandatory since a shared skill set is being built among the group and common understanding of these skills is necessary for the group learning process to proceed. Between the modules there is 2 - 4 weeks period of *open workshops, individual studying with mentoring and working practice and portfolio creation

*open workshops are open for anyone to registrate and they have an additional cost

Module 1 August (end) & September (beginning of October) Intro

  • Introduction of the education
  • Student presentations
  • Introduction to somatic movement approaches
  • Introduction to pedagogical approaches

Module 2 November & December

  • Group learning process 1
  • Individual learning process 1
  • Somatic approaches 1
  • Instructing skills 1

Module 3 January & February

  • Group learning process 2
  • Individual learning process 2
  • Somatic approaches 2
  • Instructing skills 2
  • Moving technology - video, audio, site specific

Module 4 April & May

  • Active working investigation
  • Work & life - Integrating processes
  • Individual creation
  • Students working approaches

Study Week:

  • Mornings class 9.00-11.30
  • Afternoons from Monday to Thursday 12:30 – 15:30, Friday afternoon individual studying

The contents are covering the following subjects:

  • Movement exploration
  • Movement and dance improvisation
  • Movement Analysis
  • Contact Improvisation *whole semenster on Tuesday morning class
  • Authentic Movement *whole semester on Friday class
  • Trager Movement® and trager based bodywork
  • Experiential anatomy
  • Leading movement processes
  • Instructing and facilitating
  • Group process and group learning process
  • Therapeutic processes in dance
  • Movement and technology in a specific audiovisual context
  • Mentoring in integrating the somatic approach to professional field

Course information is under process of updating.


  • Elina Ikonen leader of the education, pedagogy, movement development, dance movement therapy, group learning process, bodywork, Trager Movement® and authentic movement
  • Lindon Shimizu – experiential anatomy, movement exploration and improvisation, artistic process, contact-improvisation, authentic movement, movement and technology

Visiting teachers:

  • Malcolm Manning: 1-2 weeks (Feldenkrais Method®, Contact Impro, Improvisation, Experiential Anatomy, Authentic Movement)

Further information:

(elina.ikonenFor further information please contact Elina Ikonen via email (elina.ikonen@islo.fi ).

Information about open courses and summer school.

Duration & credits

Dance and somatics degree programme takes one year. In 2019 - 2020 the course will be organized between August 20nd 2018 and May 29th 2019. Duration: 1600h


The application period continues till 1st of June, 2019. The selection process will be on Thu 13th of June, 2019. Selection begins at 9 AM and it takes latest till 8 PM. You can apply for the course by filling in the application form and participating the selection. The place of selection at 9am dance classes will be in Kaltimontie 5, 80100 Joensuu. The interviews will be at ISLO main building at Joensuu Science Park, Länsikatu 15, 80100 Joensuu.Before the selection you can take our summer course (8.-12.6.2019) to become oriented and to get to know the teachers. The summer course is not a necessary condition for taking the selection.Students are chosen based on selection workshop and interview. All the applicants are invited in the selection.Reservations for special price 35€ in a double room: Finnhostel Joensuu: +358 50 408 4587E-mail: finnhostel@islo.f


The fee for the year is (approximately 2300-2500,willbe counted soon) euros which includes the teaching and study material. Students are entitled to apply for a student allowance in their home country, for which purpose ISLO will provide a certificate verifying their acceptance on the course.


Elina Ikonen +358 (0)50 372 7399 or elina.ikonen@islo.fi

EU-projects we participated:
LEAP: http://www.idocde.net/pages/56 – Learn, Exchange, Apply, Practice is a 2 year vocational project designed for contemporary dance teachers in Europe, to exchange and discuss relevant practices in teaching methodologies
IDOCDE: http://www.idocde.net/pages/55 International Documentation of Contemporary Dance Education. www.idocde.net