A series highlighting different ways in which people can join our BA (Hons) Contemporary Dance programme.
Here we speak to first-year Emilia Kallioinen about her recovery from injury and integrating her physiotherapy studies in Finland with studying dance here at Trinity Laban.
Can you tell about your journey to studying at Trinity Laban/studying contemporary dance?
I wanted to study dance but I suffered an injury and couldn’t audition for any programmes. It wasn’t a serious injury but it kept me away from dancing for a few months completely, in a period when I was supposed to apply, so I had to be patient.
I have always been interested in physiotherapy and so decided to pursue that as a degree. When I recovered from my injury I did continue to dance alongside my studies in Finland. I think it’s similar to the CAT (Centre for Advanced Training) programme in here in the UK.
In Finland, the higher education system is a little bit different from the U.K. I have studied physiotherapy for two years and have been able to fast-track my studies. So, whilst I am still enrolled there and need to complete my thesis and a practical training period in the summer before I can graduate, I am also able to study at Trinity Laban. And I can use the courses here at TL as credit for my optional courses as part of my physiotherapy degree.
Before my injury I had planned to study dance, and explore physiotherapy alongside, but now I am really happy it happened the way it has.
Why did you choose Trinity Laban?
I wanted to get the focus and length of a BA course and the foundation in technique. I’d heard a lot about Trinity Laban as I have friends who went here so I had insight into the course, and also I really wanted to live in London.
What has your experience been of Trinity Laban so far?
It’s been really good. It’s so nice that people come from all over the world. We all learn from each other. I really find all the technique classes useful and well structured. Even though some things aren’t my main discipline I find it useful and get a lot of tools from all the classes.
How do you feel your previous experience influences your current study?
I think dance and physiotherapy go together really well. My studies complement rather than detract from each other. I can use the knowledge from my physiotherapy studies in my dance studies. It has deepened my understanding of my body and ways of moving so it is really useful.
I feel like I actually get a lot more from dance education now that I have understanding of things I didn’t have three years ago. I’m also more mature and have learnt to organise my time and work better which is helpful.
Do you have any advice for others who might be thinking of a change in study and what advice would you give to yourself looking back at your changing path?
Patience. You can take so much of what you did before into your dancing, whatever it is. It feeds into the dancing you do and makes you even more individual.