All our teachers in Helsinki are experienced Irish dancers and teachers. They can be reached by email: inspiralhelsinki@gmail.com.

 

Elina Kortetmaa

(on maternity leave in 2017-18)
Elina attended her first Irish dance class in 2004 and fell immediately in love with Irish music and the captivating rhythm of the dance. Over the years she’s been taught by Soili Stenroos, Francis Ward (TCRG), Terhi Spackstein, Lotta Virkkunen and Heidi Aaltonen.  While studying in Belfast in 2008 she was taught by Anne Reid (ADCRG). Back in Finland her teachers have been Therese Rooney (TCRG) and Tereza Bernardová (TCRG). Besides Irish dance, she has also done tap dance and ballet.

Elina has performed with dance groups JigIt, Irish Dance Company Helsinki (IDCH) and Celtic Spirit Irish Dancers. She also performed with Irish dance show Áineas in 2010. She has successfully competed since 2006 in the Nordic Countries, England, Ireland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Russia. She placed 3rd in both the British and Irish Open Premierships in 2009 and 2010, 2nd in intermediate traditional set dance in 2011, and she also has won several 1st places over the years in Nordic Feisanna and 5th place in Nordic Championships in 2012. She participated the World Irish Dancing Championships in London with a ceili team in 2014. For her, that was a dream come true and the most memorable experience with Irish dance. She’s currently taking a break from competing due to the studies and family reasons.

Before inSpiral Dance Company she taught Irish dance in dance schools Etnofitness and Helsingin Tanssiopisto (Helsinki Dance Institute). As a teacher, she is cheerful and encouraging but also emphasizes good technique.

 

Heidi Aaltonen

Heidi started dancing ballet at the age of nine and continued dancing over ten years. In 2000 she fell in love with Irish dance and never looked back. Over the years she has been taught by several teachers, including: Anne Reid (Belfast, NI), Soili Stenroos, Francis Ward (TCRG), Lotta Virkkunen, Therese Rooney (TCRG) and now Tereza Berdanova (TCRG). Heidi has gained experience by competing at All Ireland Championships (solos), Worlds (team) and other competitions all over Europe, being the Nordic Champion in 2012. Currently she performs with the Celtic Spirit Irish Dancers and teaches workshops under inSpiral. She is a demanding, but enthusiastic teacher, wishing to give her students both the correct technique and a love for dance.

 

Tiina Murtola

Tiina found her way to her first Irish dance class in her late teens in 2003, but she really got into dance when she was at university in England. After returning to Finland, Tiina has been taught by Finnish and foreign teachers (e.g., Taina Schorin-Keltto, Heidi Aaltonen, Therese Rooney TCRG, Tereza Bernardová TCRG) and she has attended numerous workshops around Europe (e.g., several ceili workshops by Mary McElroy and the prestigious Blas Summer School at the University of Limerick in 2017). Tiina is also an active performer: she danced with the group JigIt for several years and is now part of Celtic Spirit Irish Dancers.

Competitions have been part of Tiina’s Irish dance career for a relatively short time, but she has already gained a lot of experience and success at CLRG’s competitions in Mainland Europe and on the British Isles at Intermediate, Preliminary and Open Championship levels. Tiina is also an enthusiastic member in competing ceili teams: she was one of the dancers in Cailíní Nordacha, a senior ladies’ ceili team that e.g. won 3rd place in Mainland Europe Championships in 2014 and represented Finland at the World Championships in 2014 and 2016, and a dancer and an organiser in the inSpiral Helsinki Ceili Team which won third place at the Mainland Europe Championships in 2017. In addition to competing, Tiina has also been actively working her way through the grade examination scheme. In 2018 her hard work was rewarded, as she became the first dancer in Finland to complete all 12 grades and be granted the Diploma of  the Irish Dancing Commission.  The next goals is to start working towards her TCRG exam (teacher’s certification).

Teaching has always been near and dear to Tiina’s heart. Her first experiences teaching Irish dance were at the student society in England, where she taught beginners’ and ceili classes, and before coming to work at inSpiral, Tiina taught at Tanssikeskus Footlight. To add to her own experiences dancing and teaching, Tiina has also sought tools for teaching from the RCCEA Teacher Training Seminar in 2017, and she completed an open university course in dance pedagogy in 2017-18. As a teacher, Tiina is strict especially about technique but she also encourages dancers to find the joy in dancing. The most rewarding thing in dance for Tiina are the Heureka-moments (both her own and her dancers’): when after long hours of practice things click into place and you finally realise how and why things are done a certain way.

 

Vilma Kivinen

Vilma’s fascination for Irish dance began in 2005 when she became interested in the culture of Ireland. However, she only started Irish dancing a few years later. Over the years, dancing has turned from a hobby to a way of life, and it has become more purposeful and ambitious. From the beginning, Vilma has been fascinated by Irish dance due to its rhythmicality, technical precision, and endless challenges, but also due to the joy and feeling of accomplishment it gives. Her teachers over the years have been Tiina Murtola, Nelli Sinisalo, Heidi Aaltonen, Karoliina Hirvonen, Lotta Virkkunen, Therese Rooney (TCRG) and Tereza Bernardová (TCRG). Vilma has also attended several workshops given by both foreign and Finnish dance teachers.

Vilma has been competing for several years both in solo and ceili competitions, and she feels that competitions have pushed her to surpass herself, in addition to the good results, important memories, and new friends she has gained. Vilma has taken part in World Championships in London in 2014 and in Glasgow in 2016 with ceili teams, and these have been some of the most important moments of Vilma’s life. Vilma has also competed with ceili teams at the Mainland European Championships in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017. In addition to competing, she is also progressing through her grade exams and performs with Celtic Spirit Irish Dancers.

When not dancing, Vilma works as a kindergarten teacher. She believes that it is important to teach children in a way that facilitates experiencing dance as a special kind of play, provides a lot of positive experiences of success, and encourages participation and trying things together. Vilma started as the teacher of the children’s classes in Helsinki in the autumn of 2017.