Dance course participants will be divided into 2 groups: introduction level and continuation level with a total of 8 hours of instruction. The course will be taught in English and Finnish by teachers Piia-Maria Vidgren and Riikka Laitinen.
The cost for the weekend course is 35€ per person. There are only 60 places available, so sign up fast, it's first come first served. The classes will take place at the dance studios in Culture Centre Valve.
Piia-Maria Vidgren has been trained in a variety of dance forms since she was six years old: ballet, contemporary, jazz, street dance, Afro dance, flamenco, capoeira – you name it. She has studied modern and contemporary dance in Simon Fraser University in Canada, Vancouver.
Piia-Maria was among the first ones starting Irish dancing in Finland in 1998, and being only 15 years old she soon became the pioneer Irish dancer of Central Finland. She has successfully competed in the Nordic countries and in Canada; has had two performing groups over the years and created two complete Irish dance shows. She is strict about good technique which gives way to free expression, and her dancers are known for the unique style that combines the best of Irish dancing with fresh ideas from other dance forms. Piia-Maria has taught Irish dancing for almost ten years all around the country, currently based in Jyväskylän Tanssiopisto.
Riikka Laitinen has danced ballet since a very young age. Before finding her way to Irish dance classes at the age of 16 she also did contemporary dance, acrobatics and theatre. She has competed successfully in the Nordic Feiseanna, returning frequently with medals from both solo and group categories.
Since 2006, Riikka has danced in the Damhsa group run by Piia-Maria Vidgren and Matthew Fitzsimons. During her years in the group, she has been trained with the combination of an excellent traditional technique and the new expressive styles of Irish dancing. She was one of the three dancers in Piia-Maria’s contemporary Irish dance choreography that won the show category in the Nordic Feis 2008.
Riikka has taught Irish dancing in Helsingin Tanssiopisto since 2008. She loves especially light reels and slip jigs because of their lively joyful jumps. As a teacher she wants her pupils to learn the right technique – but first and foremost, discover the joy of dancing.