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

Cour­se infor­ma­tion


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.

Student requirements

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
  • 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


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 

15.9.–20.10.2022• int­ro­duc­tion to the educa­tion
• stu­dent pre­sen­ta­tions
• int­ro­duc­tion to soma­tic move­ment approac­hes
• int­ro­duc­tion to peda­go­gical approac­hes
• atten­tion and focus, lear­ning ability
231.10.–15.12.2022• group lear­ning process 1
• indi­vi­dual lear­ning process 1
• soma­tic approac­hes 1
• instruc­ting skills 1
• teamwork, communication
39.1.–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

International collaboration

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.


2200 €

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, 

Application process

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. If you apply by May 30, 2022, you will be able to see some applicants in a group inter­view on Wed­nes­day, June the 1st. The inter­view groups will be approxi­ma­te­ly 3–5 applicants per inter­view. They will take place between 9 AM and 4 PM. You will get your exact inter­view time (e‑mail) after ISLO has recei­ved your applica­tion. If you wish or ISLO inter­viewer needs 1:1 time, an indi­vi­dual inter­view will also be held on the same day. The inter­views will be in English. Apply now.

Further information

Head teac­her Eli­na iko­nen, +358 50 3727399, 

ISLO office +35850 4084792, 

Stu­dent housing in Joen­suu Joen­suun Elli

ISLO Hos­tel ser­ves the par­tici­pants of single modu­les or open works­hops +35850 4084587,


  1. 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.
  1. 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 (Note!on pause due to Covid-19 situation).

2200€/4 modu­les or 650€/single module

8–9 weeks/module
+ 14 weeks /independent studies 

Addi­tio­nal educa­tion for adults Level/VET (voca­tio­nal educa­tion and training) 

Furt­her infor­ma­tion
Eli­na Iko­nen +358503727399