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Education in Dance and Somatics

Academic year 2021 - 2022

Application is open. Fill the application form and set your online interview with zoom on Thu June 10th.
Please, scroll down for more detailed info.
Ask for open study places by elina.ikonen@islo.fi
We have continuous admission

Education in Dance and Somatics is a year-long program that introduces somatic movement, dance practice and pedagogy from a wide perspective. It offers an opportunity to experience different methods into one's own and the group learning process. Our interest is to offer somatic education to people engaged in diverse fields supporting the integration of what they learn to their personal and working lives.

The education emphasizes 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 by combining 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.

From the students we expect ability to:
  • work with not knowing
  • take responsibility of one’s moving in various mind body states
  • creativity
  • appreciating others
  • make and tolerate mistakes and learn by them
  • recognize potential and create value to everybody’s various skills instead of looking for mistakes
  • openness towards divergent and lateral thinking
  • skills to integrate
  • trust and ability to tolerate unclear creative learning processes
  • create one’s own structure and clarity inside rich heterogeneous learning process

Classes are taught in English. The education takes place at the Eastern Finland Sports Institute in Joensuu.

Course information

International student info

Structure of Education

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

For the group studies, attendance is mandatory since a shared skill set is being built and a common understanding of these skills is necessary for the group learning process to proceed. Between the modules there is 2-4 weeks period of individual studies with mentoring and work-based learning and framework creation

In order to receive the certificate for having obtained one year Education in Dance and Somatics, you need to complete all four modules and additional individual study tasks.

Module 1, August 16 – October 10, 2021
  • Introduction to the education
  • Student presentations
  • Introduction to somatic movement approaches
  • Introduction to pedagogical approaches

Module 2, October 25 – December 17, 2021
  • Group learning process 1
  • Individual learning process 1
  • Somatic approaches 1
  • Instructing skills 1

Module 3, January 10 – March 4, 2022
  • Group learning process 2
  • Individual learning process 2
  • Somatic approaches 2
  • Instructing skills 2
  • Movement & technology – audiovisual, site specific

Module 4, March 28 – May 20, 2022
  • Active working investigation
  • Work & life – integration process
  • Individual creation
  • Individual working approach


  • Morning class 9.00-11.30 (possibility to your own warm up at 8:30-9)
  • Afternoon class Monday to Thursday 12:45 -15.30
  • Friday morning starts at 8:30 - 11:30 with led warm up, Fri afternoon – individual studying

Subjects covered in education

  • Movement exploration
  • Movement and dance improvisation
  • Movement Analysis
  • Contact Improvisation – always Tuesday afternoon class
  • Authentic Movement – always Friday morning 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 & technology in audiovisual context
  • Mentoring in integrating the somatic approach to professional field


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

Visiting teachers 2021-22 (on progress)

There will be 1 visiting teacher in each module. The names will be updated here.

Further information

For further information please contact Elina Ikonen via e-mail elina.ikonen@islo.fi or phone +358503727399.

Information about open courses and the Summer Course.

Duration & credits

Dance and Somatics additional education for adults takes one year (VET level). The 2020-2021 course runs from 17th of August 2020 until 28th of May 2021. In order to receive the certificate for having obtained one year Education in Dance and Somatics, you need to complete individual study tasks in addition to all four modules. In this case the total length of studies is from 1st of August 2020 until 30th of June 2021 with duration of 1600 hours.


The student admission is open year around.

Fill the application form and include a video to it: application form

Prepare a video with you dancing & moving alone first and with someone else in the end if this is possible without increased risk in COVID-19 situation. If not then solo, altogether 10-15min. Improvisation, no editing.
Contact elina.ikonen@islo.fi to set an online interview.

We also tailor individual study paths. You can apply for a single module anytime by filling the application form.


The fee for the full education (60 ECTS certificate) is €2150 which includes the modules 1-4, mentoring (also during the individual study period and working practice) and study material. Students of the full education 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.

The price of a single module is 700€. Subject to availability ISLO can offer accommodation in a shared room with €350/month. Available only for a single module participants. Inquiries: finnhostel@islo.fi


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

The EU Erasmus+ project we are coordinating 2020-2022: MOSS - Moving into Soft Skills: https://movingintosoftskills.com/

The EU projects we have 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