I am Karoliina Valontaival
a passionate dancer, explorer, mother, and lover of life. I am the first Finnish certified 5Rhythms® teacher. I am also an Iyengar yoga teacher and an environmental educator, with a Master’s degree in Chemistry. I love the patter of raindrops, adventures, climbing trees, playing with my son, the shimmer of sunlight on water, warm sand between my toes.
For me, dance is an open door, a possibility to integrate, to grow into wholeness. To gather all the lost or hidden parts of myself, breathe life into them, and embrace all of it as part of my complete repertoire. The light and the shadow. The strong places, the weak places. I dance myself into a more whole state of being.
5Rhythms® came into my life in 2005 while I was living in Scotland. Gradually 5Rhythms transformed my relationship to my body – and ultimately my whole life. I began organising 5Rhythms® workshops in Finland in 2012, bringing in top international teachers. I’ve been a 5Rhythms® Spaceholder and held weekly classes since late 2015. I became the first Finnish 5Rhythms teacher in 2018.
The dance floor has been my restoration, my healing balm, where I’ve reconciled opposites, come to terms with who I’ve become, had the strength to grow as well as to fall apart. The dance has introduced me to my power and my sensitivity, my courage and my vulnerability. When I dance, my body says a resounding yes. What can you say yes to, now?
My background in a nutshell:
Dance keeps me authentic, honest, open and approachable. Dance connects me to the flow of my creativity.
Through holding space for 5Rhythms®, it’s been a joy and pleasure to learn to DJ. I mix all my music live into a fulfilling, fluid whole that supports, inspires, uplifts, and connects.
Background in theatre
My previous experience and training in theatre, circus, performing arts, and applied drama have given me many tools in creative methods, and an deep understanding of group processes and dynamics.
Nature is my source of inspiration, strength, presence, and sensitivity. I share the joys of nature daily in my work with kids & youth, and they in turn keep my inner child alive, playful, and vibrant. I bring both, the earthiness and the playfulness, onto the dance floor and my teaching.
Iyengar yoga has gifted me a strong foundation in understanding anatomy, physiology, breathing, meditation and body-based practice. It has also moulded me into a clear and precise teacher.
Lover of rhythms
Music and me, we like to hang out. We are joyful, passionate, excited, and intuitive together. I create magical musical worlds that draw you into your dance. In my life, I have played the piano, djembe and other percussion instruments, and played in a band. I have a love affair with singing, folk songs and harmonies in particular.
I’m a curious explorer and researcher with a thirst for knowledge. These qualities once took me to my scientific studies and to graduate at the top of my class with a First-Class Honours Master’s degree in Chemistry. Although I’m not working in science or academia now, these same qualities serve me on the dance floor, they keep me riding the edge and surfing my learning curve.
Becoming a mother has been a huge place of growth for me. I receive the gift of being alive every day. My son has been a great teacher of many things, like how to hold space, how to be present, and how to stay open even through challenging circumstances.
Discovering the wisdom of the body
I am a mother and daughter, sister and aunt. I was born in Finland, spent a major part of my childhood and youth in the USA (or rather, moving back and forth between Finland and the States). I lived and studied at university in Scotland for four years and returned to Finland once I graduated (quite surprisingly, contrary to what I expected). I am a nomad at heart: on the one hand open minded and hearted, with an international outlook and the gift of being bilingual. On the other hand for the majority of my life, I have felt rootless, from nowhere, at home everywhere. I have had to (or have had the blessing to) have a long road home, a deep search for where I belong. Dance, yoga, and nature have been essential tools in my seeking. I have arrived home into my body. The home that is right here, right now, and with me wherever I go. The home of my first breath, and my last. My birthright. The body that does not lie, that lives in this moment. The body that speaks in silent whispers, that imparts deep wisdom, and is a great teacher in learning to live an expansive, heartful and present life.
“There is more wisdom in the body than in your deepest philosophy.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
The dance has brought me home in also a different way: from the dancing community I have found a social home, both here in Finland as well as globally. I have had the privilege to build deep and meaningful friendships; heal childhood wounds that related to being in groups; enjoy honest and real connections and meetings; and discover new sides to myself, mirrored by others. It is mind and heart-opening to be a part of this global community. It breaks through cultural and linguistic divides.