Photo Luna Valgaard

~ ElinMaria and Gabriel Sydänvirta ~

Settle deeper into your breathing body and beating heart.

The art of life can be colored through dance and it's forever changing rhythms.

Integrating dance as a part of daily life gives sensations of being alive and awake,

even if it’s just the tiniest little dance observing our own breaths rise and fall.

We are curious to be present in the moment, touched by whatever is there.

MOVING HEART was born in 2015 with love and inspiration to share our common heart beat and lifestyle influenced by art, dance, somatics, nature and aquatic healing. Our training is based on a holistic understanding of the body and our interconnectedness with nature. Through an Eco-somatic* and mindful** approach we bring embodied experiences into practice.

NATURE has a great impact on our life and work. After two summers living on our sailboat, we found our home on a small island in the outer Archipelago of Finland. Here we live a simple life in nature with our child. Moving Heart is rooted in our daily closeby relationship with nature. We recognize that we are all part of nature and everything around us is part of the Earth. What happens with our perception when we acknowledge this fact?

We are a living breathing manifestation of this beautiful and generous planet. (Thich Nhat Hanh)

Most of Moving Heart's courses, retreats and events happen in nature with simple living conditions. When we move our body in environments where nature or water are dominating our sensorial participation we are brought back to the basics, back home to the Earth.

DANCE is our beat. Sharing the language of movement can give meaning and connection; to ourselves, life, nature and each other. As dance-artists we are curious to bring the poetry of dance where it’s not usually experienced or performed. We claim that all movements can become dance. Dancing brings us together and can be a shared language no matter of background, ability, age or identity.

BEING AT HOME in our body and nature gives us resilience and a sense of belonging. In this space of connection healing naturally occurs; enhancing the parasympathetic nervous systems, reduces stress and experiences of peace and meaningness. In these times, connection to our bodies and the planet Earth's body might be crucial. When we are in alignment with ourselves in a heartfelt and embodied relation we move more freely and engage more wisely with the everyday moments of being alive.

* Eco somatics is an emerging interdisciplinary field which connects embodiment practices such as dance and the healing arts with ecological consciousness.

** Mindfulness Can Be Described As The Practice Of Paying Attention In The Present Moment.

ElinMaria has last 12 years brought Community Dance, Dance Improvisation and somatics in different projects and locations; for teenagers, children, mixed abilities, teachers in the school, staff in the old people’s home, in the refugee centers, in the elderly care as well as

in the dancing schools. She has developed methods to educate pre-school teachers with dance as a tool for gender equality and norm critical pedagogy. She's a dedicated yoga- and meditation practitioner since more than 20 years. Educated among others at Mindfulness Center Sverige (MfC), ISLO Dance and Somatics(2009/10), Somatic Selfcompassion® with trauma Informed Approach.

Gabriel has worked since 2004 as a Community and Dance Artist in local communities, especially with children and teenagers, in 70 different countries. He has combined several art forms and used dance and movement as a tool to connect with people and as a gateway to learn from each others and to do cross-cultural exchange. Since 2012 he has taught Contact Improvisation, Aquatic dance and Aguahara in Europe and Asia. He's a

official sea kayak guide certified by the Nordic Sea Kayaking Instructor Association (NIL) and the Finnish Kayaking and Rowing Association!! 

We wish to hold you in a space where you can surrender to the transforming power of life itself, support and nourish your connection to your inherited aliveness. We wish to hold you a space of loving kindness, compassion, playfulness and support your own curiosity to bloom.

~ ElinMaria and Gabriel ~


More about us!

Glimpses from our work

Forestdance Annual workshop with dance in nature. Film by Anniina Joensalo

Compose With Me! Artistic collective with Interactive, instantly composed dance performance.
Video: Valo Films. Supported by Taiteen edistämiskeskus (Arts Promotion Centre Finland), the city of Espoo, Kulttuurikollektiivi Kukoistus.

Aguahara with Gabriel and ElinMaria. Video by Anna Alonova.

“Safety, play, wonder & interconnectedness”-The possibilities of lived body experiences in Moving Heart’s activities.  “Turvallisuus, leikki, ihmetys ja yhteys” - Kokemuksellisuuden ja kehollisuuden mahdollisuudet Moving Heart- yrityksen toiminnassa".

Thesis by Elisa Kuusisto (2020).

"Melontaa, tanssia ja meditaatiota Saaristomeren sydämessä"

"Paddling, dans och yoga i hjärtat av Skärgårdshavet"

Article in Swedish and Finnish about Gabriel's kayak-tours in the Archipelago Sea.

Copyright © Moving Heart 2022