Education in Dance and Somatics
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 into 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 education takes place at the Sports Institute Eastern Finland in Joensuu. Classes are taught in English. The student admission is open year-round.
ISLO open courses
Briefly about the education
The education is additional education for adults Level/VET (vocational education and training). It is suitable for professionals from the exercise and wellness fields, dance and arts, and also participants representing other professional fields and having sufficient background in exercise and dance and aim to combine somatic approach with their own profession and develop in movement, dance and embodiment.
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
These pedagogical themes spread over the study year. Each module focuses on a couple of themes in more detail.
Module 1: attention and focus, learning ability
Module 2: teamwork, communication
Module 3: creativity, leadership, self-regulation
Module 4: atmosphere, adaptability
The year is divided into 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 highly recommended 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 are 2–4 weeks periods of individual studies with mentoring and work-based learning and framework creation.
Schedule/Module 4, 2022
• Morning class 9.00–11.30 (possibility to your own warm-up at 8:30–9)
• Afternoon class Mon — Thursday 12:45–15.30
• Fri morning starts 30 min earlier, 8:30–11:30 with led warm-up, Fri afternoon – individual
Schedules/Modules 1–4, 2023–2024
• 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
• Fridays are reserved for independent studies.
The weekly contact-improvisation class(CI) will take place on Tuesday afternoon and the Authentic Movement class (AM) on Thu afternoon.
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
- Working life soft skills
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. From the students, we expect the ability to:
- Work with not knowing
- Take responsibility of one’s moving in various mind body states
- 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
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
There will be short periods of collaboration with other teachers or organizations
Read more about the teachers here.
Sometimes we collaborate for short periods with other organizations or visitors.
Dates and contents
|1||5.9.–20.10.2022||• introduction to the education|
• student presentations
• introduction to somatic movement approaches
• introduction to pedagogical approaches
• attention and focus, learning ability
|2||31.10.–15.12.2022||• group learning process 1|
• individual learning process 1
• somatic approaches 1
• instructing skills 1
• teamwork, communication
|3||9.1.–2.3.2023||• group learning process 2|
• individual learning process 2
• somatic approaches 2
• instructing skills 2
• movement & technology – audiovisual, site-specific
• creativity, leadership, self-regulation
|• active working investigation|
• work, life and somatics – integration process
• individual creation
• individual working approach
• atmosphere, adaptability
Studying in an international and multicultural group is good training for cross-sectoral collaboration in a rapidly changing world. Physical dance and somatics competence, pedagogical skills and so-called soft working life skills such as interaction, leadership and team skills, creativity, self-regulation and awareness skills support both the realization of your professional potential and your personal well-being, regardless of your working sector. International student info
Education serves as a bridge to international collaboration. The students are coming from different countries and ISLO participates in the development of the dance and somatic field and collaborates in EU projects. Further info: IDOCDE, LEAP, MOSS was a collaboration initiated by ISLO alumni. It was about creating training for working life soft skills with embodiment approach. You can find the training with mapping tools and manuals on the project’s website MovingIntoSoftSkills and the Erasmus + database.
Education on Dance and Somatics is vocational education and training (VET), additional education for adults. Students can apply for student allowance from their own country. Further info about student benefits, insurances etc. from Islo office +35850 4084792, firstname.lastname@example.org
We have continuous admission. If you prefer clarity to surprises, we advise you to start from module 1 and proceed one module at a time with a familiar group. If you already have more experience in dance and somatics or the resilience to face new situations, you can start with any module and do even only one module at a time over several years. This will also give you experience from different groups. Or you may want to attend only one module, depending on your work or life situation. In order to receive a certificate for having obtained one year of Education in Dance and Somatics, you need to complete individual study tasks in addition to all four modules.
Fill in the application form and include a video to it. Prepare a video with you dancing & moving alone first and with someone else in the end, if this is possible without increased risk in the COVID-19 situation. If not then solo, altogether 10–15min. Improvisation, no editing. After the application arrives, We will contact you by email and arrange a time for a remote interview after receiving your application. Apply now.
- We recommend regular participation in the classes, although attendance is not mandatory. The personal learning path and the group learning process are intertwined in layers, and absences slow down the group learning process. Group activities are central in dance studies.
- Education is vocational education and its perspective is in pedagogy and facilitation. Like all art-based studies, it is intensive in nature. If your interests are more in the personal development and well-being or, due to your life situation, it is challenging for you to commit to studying, we recommend you to participate in open workshops in dance and somatics. More about open courses here.