Hello! I’m Karoliina Valontaival.
I’m the first and currently only Finnish 5Rhythms® teacher and a pioneer in the field of conscious dance and movement meditation in Finland.
My teaching style is intuitive, gentle, and heartful. I embody both softness and strength. My guidance is clear and specific, yet I also leave a lot of space for creativity, expression, and choices. I give enough challenges so that you can develop and learn something about yourself as well as this practice.
Diverse skills and perspectives as a teacher
I’m currently studying psychophysical breathing therapy, which is wonderfully applicable to dance, embodiment, and personal growth.
I’ve lived 10 years of my life abroad, which has given me both linguistic fluency as well as flexibility, diversity, and a multicultural outlook on life. I’m curious about creativity, creating and facilitating learning processes, about being and growing as a human.
I have a background as an Iyengar yoga teacher and I’ve studied theatre and drama. I worked as an environmental educator and forest school teacher with kids and teens for a decade. All of these give me an in-depth understanding of individual and group processes, embodied practices and methods, as well as creativity and play. I have a deep love and reverence for the natural world as well as an interest in the well-documented health benefits of nature, which I love to combine with this dance practice.
My formal education is in science: I have a master’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Edinburgh. The rigour of my training gives me clarity, critical thinking, an appreciation for researched and documented knowledge, and endless fascination and curiosity about the world and being human.
All of these diverse experiences and perspectives combine into a very unique teaching style that is compassionate, grounded, intuitive, playful, and creative. Magic happens on my dance floors and the spaces I hold.
A journey of transformation with 5Rhythms
I discovered 5Rhythms in 2005 by chance at a party whilst living and studying in Edinburgh, Scotland. I was so intrigued I went to a class the following week, and it was love at first sight. We were an unlikely pair, dancing and I, as up until then I considered myself the clumsiest person on the planet. However, I loved 5Rhythms so much that I danced regularly for many years, and the dancing began to shape me and shift my life in a new direction. 5Rhythms has deeply impacted and transformed my life, my relationships and relating skills, my professional path as well as my relationship to my body.
After returning to Finland, I missed dancing deeply. Driven by my need to dance, I began to invite international teachers to Finland from 2012 onwards. Over the years, a dancing community was born. In 2015, I trained as a 5Rhythms Spaceholder and began to offer non-guided 5Rhythms classes in Helsinki. I became an accredited 5Rhythms® teacher in 2018 and have been teaching 5Rhythms full time since June 2019.
In teaching 5Rhythms, my core goals are:
At home in the body.
A positive relationship with the body is an irreplaceable foundation for physical and mental health as well as meaningful relationships, both with ourselves as well as others.
Dance and creativity belongs to everyone.
My goal is to make it as easy as possible for anyone to discover the joy of dancing, and for dancing to be fun, sweaty, and a refuge and resource for all. Feeling clumsy, awkward, stuck in your head, or decidedly uncreative? You’ve come to the right place.
A safe, accepting, inclusive, and grounded space.
A safe space makes it possible to relax, open up to something new, and also take a leap of faith outside of your comfort zone. The permission to be as you are is the prerequisite for being in the moment, healing, as well as change.
Inspiring musical choices
As I’m teaching the class, I’m also DJ’ing the music live, responding to the needs of the group. In my classes you are guaranteed to be delighted by the music, by inspiring grooves, beats that you can shake out to, and tunes to give wings to your imagination. I use music to guide you into the rhythms, to facilitate the group and to create a magical journey that is unique every time.
All the colors of life
I’m drawn to the experience of freedom on the 5Rhythms dance floor. The continuous learning and the creative possibilities. I love how holistic it is: in one session, I get exercise, art, therapy, my own time, social time, all wrapped up in a nice sweaty package. The honesty of the body speaks to me. The body doesn’t lie: it gives me direct information about this moment and gives me the keys to being present. What I discover may not always be comfortable or easy, but through the dance I can find the beauty and significance of all kinds of experiences. The 5Rhythms dance has taught me to appreciate (or at least experience) all the colours, hues, and nuances of human living. I feel more whole, more human, more humble, and more alive.