Classes and teachers

The information underneath is old. We will update this around october 2018.. check back then

These are the planned activities for SOS 2018. However, there might still pop-up some classes or other activities, that will be listed in this page once confirmed.



Other activies

Pathway: In(to) the world – Re-imagining somatic activism

This pathway offers possibilities to explore the connection between CI and the “real life”. We believe that the skills we learn in CI practice can nurture our actions and deepen our understanding also in other contexts. Focus on interaction, connection and reaching towards another person represents a political position (Manning 2007).
Our aim is to facilitate a process which enables us to find concrete tools and ideas to act upon in everyday life and make a meaningful contribution for change. Besides workshops we have an ongoing structure for exploration which enables deepening of the themes, both personally and in small groups. You have a possibility of trying out an action learning process on a theme of personal interest.

Pathway: Contact skills

Contact skills pathway offer a variety of classes focusing of different skills that we find helpful, useful, enjoyable or fun while dancing CI. Or maybe suggesting something new to inspire your jamming.

Pathway: Anatomy

In this pathway we will tune into the body, with its marvellous anatomical and physiological qualities. We’ll use different kinds of techniques and approaches to get better acquainted with the body and to see how we can use it and dance it in new and surprising ways. We’ll go from details towards the whole and the other way around, from macrocosmos to microcosmos.

Pathway: Awareness

Awareness pathway offers possibilities to inquire how contact improvisation can be engaged through contemplative, reflective, psychological, and spiritual approaches.

Pathway: Improvisation

Improvisation is part of our every day lives and everything we do, even if we are not always aware of it. In the impro pathway we want to propose multiple approaches to enhancing our improvisation skills, understanding our decision making processes and growing awareness. We also want to value improvisation as a creative practise and an art form that can and should be practised. We propose that in jamming improvisation comes even before contact. Impro pathway contains classes, labs, discussion and small tasks.

Class: Anatomy (lecture + exploration)

Part of Anatomy Pathway

2 times 1 h class
Focusing on the anatomy of a certain area of the body – the specific part will be a surprise! 🙂 It can be certain joints or wider structures (e.g. bony, fascial, organic…) We’ll start with a little lecture with clarifying material, then tuning into the movement and alignment of the area in question. We’ll be exploring how the area affects our movement and dance of contact, and how we can use it more richly to delve into an even more satisfying experience.

Class: Yoga

Part of Anatomy Pathway
1-2 times, 1h
Fairly basic teaching of Iyengar Yoga, but with a more playful and dynamic twist. We’ll also explore how the things we do in Yoga can take us into freer movement and dance.

Class/Lab: Eyes closed – subtle sounds

Part of Awareness Pathway

Lab with facilitated structure
one time two hours
Exploring the possibilities of moving eyes closed. Still staying alert and aware of the space while letting our usually very dominating sense of sight have a rest. Emphasis on subtle sensations and sensitivity, finding depth and variety in experience of moving and moving in contact.

Class: Control Vs. Force

Part of In(to) World Pathway

Do not control… well.. what is control? Don’t I need to control and compose myself, constantly depending on the situations and context I’m moving in?
Forces are around all the time…

When I need to force something I have already lost control. Forcing is always an attempt to gain back the lost, fleeting control.

And if you think you don’t need control, think again. In a space that is full, or even half full you need to control, compose, just for safety. if not otherwise.
When the control is lost? when you force things towards the way you want them to be, and when you control them?

Semantics? physicality.

Lecture/class looking on control and forcing and drawing lines to Hannah Arendts theory of violence vs. power.


Class: What the teacher does

Part of Awareness Pathway

What if you have no teacher?
what would you do?
How knowledge is formed?
Objects of knowledge?

Drawing from Jaques Ranciere ( and ignorant schooldmaster
and Iain Hamilton Grant ( Starting from page 41: )

Class: Rhythm

Part of Improvisation Pathway

123 123 1234 1234 1234 12345 123456 1234567
123456 123456 12345 12345 12345678 123456789
1234 123 12345 1234 123 1234 1234567

It’s not like maths, but almost.

Class: Tone and Tonality

Part of Improvisation Pathway

2 hour class

High tone, low tone, no tone…
Such a beautiful tone, all sounds like…
I toning, honing myself evermore, to be, chaotic and/or precise.

Doll steak, test meat
Look on the bright side is suicide
Lost eyesight I’m on your side
Angel left wing, right wing, broken wing
Lack of iron and/or sleeping

Honing myself, evermore

Class: An Object of manipulation

Part of Improvisation Pathway

A class/lecture

I’m the subject,handling objects, making decisions, my surroundings are mine to manipulate… if only…
We are created and manipulated constantly by our surroundings, those seemingly passive “things” that surround me and with what we surround ourselves
How do objects manipulate us.
How I arrange myself in order to manipulate you?

Class: Experiential Anatomy and CI

Part of Anatomy Pathway

Experiential Anatomy and CI
Anatomical knowledge can greatly contribute to our experience of moving through deepening the felt sense of our bodies and giving understanding how to articulate movement more wisely. We want to respect the natural range of movement of each joint and find ease and functionality in our expression. Hands on work provide a useful tool in the process of transforming the anatomical theory to become our personal experience.

Class: Choise making processes

Part of Improvisation Pathway

How aware are we of our choice making processes in life and in contact improvisation? How much freedom do we (don’t we) actually have? Through acknowledging our typical ways of making choices can we then challenge ourselves to find more options and so to enrich our improvisation.
This class/lab will include a lot of watching/witnessing others making their choices.

Class: In the sea of possibilities

Part of Improvisation Pathway, 1×2,5 hours class, any bigger dance space

In this class we will work on tuning into all our senses (those known and unknown to us) to become available for anything to happen at any moment. We want first to widen our perception to then be ready to act and react, through dance and through contact. We will also look at the different layers of time and space and all the beings in space. Part of this work shop will be held outside.

Lab: Dialogue and empathy as somatic activism

Part of In(to) World Pathway
(2 hours)

Human nature is dialogic and communication has a leading role in our life. We are continuously in dialogue with others, and it is in that process that we create and recreate ourselves. (Freire 1970.) We will explore contact improvisation in relation to dialogue as a stream of meaning flowing among, through and between us. Landing in the present moment, listening and living in the questions are possible places to begin.

Class: CI dancing

Part of Contact Skills Pathway
2-2,5 h

After one week of studies of principles of contact improvisations we will harvest the principles in dance.
Is CI dance form ? We can have different answers for this question. It is dance, movement, communication, dialogue, spiritual practise, therapy, art sport, practise of life, awareness, freedom….all of them.
In one way the input of initiator dancer Steve Paxton brote contact improvisations in to field of dance. What is dance can be different for everyone.
So we will dance and share. What we can learn from each other and dance it’s self.

Lab: Define your state of freedom

Parth of In(to) World Pathway

This lab is about your inner state and how you relate to social reality in CI enviroment. I will pose some quesions about freedom, improvisation and creativity. One aim is to find your way to freedom and happiness in dancing. We will learn from each other innerscores how we approach warming up, dancing and … There is possibility for reflection on your thoughts.
Letting the let happen.

Series of Classes: Negotiating and communicating in CI

Part of Contact Skills Pathway.
4 classes of 2,5 hours

A series of classes going thrugh the festival. Looking CI from the point of view of communication/interaction, building physical exercises that might help us to communicate in dancing, to be clear with our intentions, to listen, to set limits etc.


For us, contact improvisation is communication that happens between bodies through dance and movement.

In this course we prepare our bodies to be ready to listen, to respond, to react, to interact and to be clear of our own needs and intentions through physical exercises alone and with a partner. Being soft means being able to receive information; recognising your needs and the needs of others helps being clear with your message; being mobile and movable in your body helps to respond to changing situations.

Class: CI in love (with unknown)

Part of Awareness Pathway

How practise of CI can support learning to love?

What is love? How do you know?

What if love to guides the dance?

What choice which is made out of love brings into one´s dance/ one´s life? What anything else brings?

Is CI “a religion of randomness of where the wind (mind) blows” or is there potential hidden evolutionary path way which one can align one self? How do you know?

What if Ci is formless form, always fresh and about to born into the world, free of definitions, in same way as love is always free and escaping all boxes mind is sudgesting to it.

Can one learn to love trough CI?
Can one learn to dance trough love?

How do you learn? And what do you want to learn?

Class: CI fundamentals

Part of Contact skills
2h class

This class deals with physical fundamentals of CI. It is suitable for everyone curious about the basic principles and building blocks of dancing CI with a partner/partners. If you are more or less new to the form or feel like refreshing your memory, this might just be the point of entry to the festival!

Class: Dynamize it

Part of Contact skills
2h class

In this class we take inspiration from soft martial arts and partnering acrobatics. The goal is not in the tricks nor acrobatics per se, but as different complementary tools to investigate and deepen the study of some fundamental principles in CI.

Lab: Individuation & Ci

Part of Awareness Pathway
2*2h labs

In this lab we will look at some principles of Jungian individuation process and how they potentially relate to the practice of contact improvisation, how contact improvisation potentially supports self-other/self-culture differentiation, and the ability to hold qualitative opposites at one time in one’s experience/awareness, both of which are seen as key elements in the individuation process. The first lab will focus on how individuation relates to the personal, “Me in the World” and the second lab on how it relates to the collective, the “World in Me”. The labs will be composed of theory, self-reflection, discussions, solo, partner and group exercises. In order to take part in the second phase, one has to attend the first one.

Class: Comtempletive CI

Part of Awareness Pathway

CI experienced as a meditative practise.
1h technical training,
20 min theory,
1h20 contemplative practice,
20 min landing + sharing awareness

Other activities: Sharing Circle

Part of Awareness Pathway
2 hours max in the middle of festival.

Practising centering in present moment and supporting unfolding of communal heart intelligence trough verbal or non-verbal sharing.

Other activities: Meditation : Centering in Heart

Part of Awareness Pathway
4 times 30 min after dinner, before jams.

Practising super precise and super relaxed concentration to the heart center in present moment.

Other activities: Orientation session for In(to) world pathway

(2 hours)

This session tunes you into the pathway which offers possibilities to explore the connection between CI and the “real life”. We believe that the skills we learn in CI practice can nurture our actions and deepen our understanding also in other contexts.

We will introduce different viewpoints, theoretical perspectives and an action learning process by various exercises and group work. This session helps you to clarify your interests and gives you tools to experiment on them, together with others.

Other activities: Conclusions and harvesting for In(to) world pathway

(1 hour)

Sharing and collecting the observations and experiences of the journey on the pathway.

Other activities: CI Questions

As a dance form contact improvisation is peculiar in the way that it may lead us to question our values, our sense of self, emotional and physical boundaries, and generally the ways we have learned to interact and relate to ourselves, others, and the world. Questions concerning these topics are very common and arise readily. We want to address this by creating time and space for people to come together to share about the challenges we may experience with the practice of contact improvisation. With this peer-oriented sharing we hope to shed some light and understanding and come up with practical tools with which to further our process of learning and come more to terms with those issues we feel challenged by. You are warmly welcome!

Other activities: Outdoors

– 30-45 min
break from studio, walk being alone, with partner or in a group, talking or silent

Other activities: “Handshake with the shadow -jam score + reflection

Part of Awareness Pathway
2 times

The participants will meet during dinner or before the jam and in small groups discuss their resistance habits in a jam. Each person will choose a “resistance score” for him-/herself to carry out during the whole jam. The group will meet next day, f.e. during breakfast or after, to discuss their findings. The intention of this jam score is to experientially and willingly engage with our resistances to potentially shed some light into the processes behind them.

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Naama SOS 2012-2-valoisa
Anna Jussilainen

Anna is an independent dance and performance artist specialising in contact improvisation, somatic techniques and community dance. She is a member of the performance art company Reality Research Center in Finland and her work has largely focused on improvisation and bodily interaction with the audience. Her interest in different ways of interacting and creating realities has resulted in her working in many community settings including most recently in Nicaragua. She holds MA’s both in Community Dance and in Cultural Research and currently works at the Arts Promotion Centre (Arts Council) Finland.


Annukka Bali
Annukka Toivonen

Annukka has practiced CI actively for 13 years and the form is one of the greatest passions of her life. Alive connection to oneself and others is an essential source of joy in her dance. Workwise she is a multifielded teacher specialized in dramapedagogies, non-violent communication, peace education and contact improvisation. Her previous studies also include psychotherapy and natural therapies. She graduated as a community pedagogy in 2009 and is currently working as a trainer and project coordinator at the Peace Union of Finland.


Iiris Raipala

I am dance artist; performer and teacher living in Helsinki, Finland. I graduated in 2004 as Master of Arts in dance from the Theatre Academy of Finland. I also studied dance in School for New Dance Developement (S.N.D.O.) in Amsterdam and in many workshops around the world. I’ve been working closely with improvisation and contact improvisation in several performing groups. I am one of the organizers of Goa contact festival and Skiing on Skin -festival in Finland. I graduated recently as certified iyengar yoga teacher. The combination of exact alignment of yoga and free flowing movement of contact improvisation brings balance for my practice as well teaching. At the moment I am in the middle of my studies as therapist and holistic counselor, which has affected my approach to teaching dance into more accepting and encouraging people for their own expression and truth, as well as exploring how dance can truly empower and transform our state.


Ilona Kenova

is Czech dancer and dance teacher living in Finland.
She works in field of contemporary dance and contact improvisation.
She is mother of 2 great boys .


Jarno Mäkelä

Jarno is an Iyengar yoga teacher and has danced contact for some 13 years. He has always considered yoga and contact as great complementary arts and has been looking for ways to combine these two in his teaching. Jarno is graduating as an osteopath in spring 2018. Osteopathy and anatomical exploration have also greatly influenced Jarno’s way of dancing and teaching contact.


Kaisa Kukkonen

Kaisa Kukkonen is a professional dancer and has been doing contact improvisation since 2005. Her dance has been described with words soft, strong, the best pillow, amusement park, ocean of butter and royal jelly! She has recently started to teach and enjoyes sharing her knowledge and learning through teaching.

She has learned a lot from Joerg Hassmann, Christine Mauch, Katja Mustonen, Iiris Raipala and Nancy Stark-Smith among many others.

Picture: Synes Elischka


Linda Priha

My body is a stage. I am a witness. My mind is listening and my soul is the source. My
life is a miracle.

Linda ( is a freelance dancer, performer, dance teacher,
choreograph. Besides creating her own work she’s been working with choreographers like
Soile Lahdenperä, Jouni Järvenpää, Mirva Mäkinen, Tomi Paasonen, Jyrki Karttunen, Pipaluk
Supernova (Denmark) and William Petit (France). At the moment Linda is studying
osteopathy and is deeply inspired by the huge universe of the body.


is a somatic movement researcher, educator, mentor and artist. In his classes, he shares his inquiry of what it is to be a thinking, feeling, moving subject in this world, through developing a dialogue with ourselves and our environment, in which we are empowered to be our own experts and to challenge received notions of anatomy and identity. He is certified to teach the Feldenkrais Method® and the Body And Earth work developed by Andrea Olsen and Caryn McHose. He studied for two years at SNDO Amsterdam and has an MA in Dance Peda- gogy. He made extensive studies of Contact Improvisation, Authentic Movement, Movement Shiatsu, Body Mind Centering and experiential anatomy.


Otto Akkanen

a wave
Form passing materia
Materia passing form
Not a half
Not yet whole
a shore to crash on


Panu Erästö

Panu is a dedicated mover living in Helsinki. He is currently influenced by capoeira and other soft martial arts. He is also interested in the physical side of a human body; in particular, pilates type of stuff that he is also teaching. Panu likes also aerial acrobatics, sleeping, gardening, and chocolate.


Petri Taipale

Petri loves to dance contact improvisation and loves to teach it also. He likes rolling, falling and weight sharing. He loves the flow of movement , but also likes to be still and just listen. Petri likes to participate to co-creation of present moment. He just loves to be in contact with him self, and sometimes with others too.

Petri has practised CI for 11 years. Some years he has practised super intensively with strong and burning passion. Some years he has just found himself from parking several floors without any good inspiration to move. Nowadays he just simply loves to move his beautiful long bodyparts all over the spaces and share his locomotion.


Samuli Lehesaari

I found my way to the sphere of CI in early 2000 when the Helsinki community was just kicking off. It was love, fear, and curiosity at first touch. Many years have passed with countless festivals, workshops, and contemporary dance training in Germany. Now I’m back in Finland finishing off my masters in psychology, dancing, and exploring this life and the different possibilities of being a human in movement and being. Even after many years, CI remains for me an exceptionally creative and nourishing form of human communication and expression.


Sanna Valkeapää
Sanna lives in Helsinki and among other things works with somatic methods (touch work, Authentic movement, Aguahara, movement improvisation) with individuals and varied groups of people. Sanna loves nature and is curious about bridging the seemingly outer nature (ecology) with human inner nature (physiology, psychology). Her dearest hobbies are visual arts and vedic astrology.


Terhi Rasilo

I have danced a lot in my life. My background is in contemporary dance and my CI experience is about as old as this SOS festival. After a couple of years in Montreal I’m finding my place in Finland again. I love to study and ask questions and look at things from different perspectives. I enjoy dances that move in the space, being outside and having slow, calm mornings. I have a scientist’s mind and body that wants to move.


Ville Johansson

I like dancing and exploring movement. My dancing spirit is coming from gratitude of life and being. Imagination in wide sense helps me to integrate body with life. Mystery in movement goes beyond rational mind but helps to be here and now. As a participant in this cosmic joke, I would like to reduce stress and create happiness. Dancing is my way. Bullshit is my day. Papu is my son.


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