Turku - Teachers
Saija started Irish dance in Turku in autumn 2007. Heini Pollari, Anu Rekimies and Therese Rooney (TCRG) are some of the teachers she has had during the years. In addition, she has taken part in various Irish dance courses in Finland and abroad with teachers such as Ronan McCormack (ADCRG, Riverdance), Dr. Breandán de Gallaí (Riverdance, Noctú) and Zara Curtis (TCRG, Riverdance). Since January 2015 her teacher has been Tereza Bernardová (TCRG).
The first experience in competitive Irish dance for Saija was Nordic Feis in Stockholm in 2011 with the result of two 3rd place medals. Since then she has taken part in many competitions both in solo and céilí dancing, in the Nordic countries and around Europe. Despite the later first and second placements in various Nordic feiseanna, she considers her best achievement the 2nd place in Traditional Set Dance -category in RCCEA’s Mainland Europe Feis in 2013. The most memorable events are from springs 2014 and 2018 when she participated in CLRG World Championships in London and Glasgow as one of the dancers in Turku céilí team.
Saija has been active in a Turku based Irish dance association Dragún Irish Dancers ry since summer 2011. With Dragún she has been in several performances, the biggest one being a show by Dragún ”Vihreä saari – matka irlantilaisen tanssin maailmaan” (The Emerald Island – a journey into the world of Irish dance) in Turku in November 2013. Saija has taught Irish dance already in 2009-2011 in Sastamala adult education and in Dragún she has been teaching in various courses like beginners and céilí classes since 2012.
In addition to Irish dance Saija has another loosely Irish dance related hobby, namely, to construct her own violin, since January 2011. At the moment this project is on hold, but if that project is someday completed, the next challenge will be to learn to play it as well!
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 Bernardová (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.