My name is Noora Karjalainen and I live in Vaasa, Finland. I started Irish dancing in 2001 when I found out that the local sports organisation near my home village was arranging Irish dance lessons. Since then I’ve danced whenever possible, though sadly I’ve rarely had the chance to attend regular classes. I really started to work on my dancing from 2006 onwards, practicing on my own and participating workshops and intensive courses arranged here in Finland.
I love all the different forms of Irish dancing, solo, céilí, figure, show, sean nós, and would like to get better in all of them, though as a solitary dancer my resources are often rather limited. I’m hoping that one day I’ll have a teacher and could maybe participate in performances and things like that. I always thought that I’m not a competitive person and for a long time I was convinced that I’d never want to compete in Irish dancing. Then in 2011 I went to my very first feis in Stockholm to do grade exams, and I suppose I got into the spirit of things because next year in Tampere I competed for the very first time and liked it! I would like to compete more often than just once a year at the Nordic Feis and at the moment I’m finding out about different possibilities.
In my opinion and experience NSID is important in bringing the Irish dancers in the Nordic countries together, encouraging cooperation and making Irish dance more visible as a hobby.
When I’m not dancing I’m studying for my PhD dissertation, working as a part-time interpreter and translator, looking for work, and playing Irish music on harp and fiddle.