Tiia Ourila - Northern School of Contemporary Dance


Curriculum Lead (PPS) & Lecturer in Dance

MA and Postgraduate Diploma in Dance training and education

Additional qualifications:

Qualified Yoga Teacher, (250 Hour Teacher Training credited by Yoga Alliance Professionals)

Role and responsibilities:

Curriculum Lead: Professional Placements

Tiia oversees the Postgraduate Placement Scheme which involves managing the Host Company relationships, supporting students during their placements planning their activities at NSCD and assessing students during their placements and in performances.

Tiia is Module Leader for Dance Techniques (CertHE Contemporary Dance). She also teaches Contemporary Technique and Yoga across all year groups at Undergraduate and Postgraduate Levels.

Who am I?

“As a child I learnt to walk and run very early, however I did not speak until I was 2 years old. I think this really sums up how I experience the world and how I still prefer to experience the world: through moving, through physical sensations, through touch and physical expression. I was also incredibly shy as a child, but I found my voice through dancing. Throughout my dancing life I have tried every kind of dance or style there is, from Capoeira to salsa to Ballet and Butoh. I still get such pleasure from learning new ways of moving and I continue to be amazed at how the body can evolve regardless of age. If I get to live to 90 you will surely still find me trying to do a Yoga tree posture with my sparkling ‘granny tights’ on.”

My teaching practice:

“The classroom is like a playground for me, I enjoy working with students in a positive, playful and interactive atmosphere. I am interested in a rich and full physicality, developing strength and connectivity in motion. I enjoy dynamic ways of moving and using the space, utilising both the floor and upright patterns to discover different textures and dimensions in movements. My classes encourage exploration and connection to the deeper sensations and sensitivity through the use of imagery and other motivating tools.”

Career History

Tiia trained at Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary dance as has worked with Jazz xchange (Sharon Wray), Eske Holm (Denmark) Phoenix Dance Theatre, Beth Cassani and Mad Dogs Dance Theatre.

She has taught professional company classes across the UK and Europe including: Phoenix Dance Theatre, New Adventures, Scottish Dance Theatre, Skånes Dans Teater and DV8.

In 2004 she founded RODA, a research and development project, creating a platform for professionals and students to research and develop their practice together.

Tiia also founded Mad Dogs Dance Theatre, acting as an associate Artistic Director and Rehearsal Director. From this she also founded Barking Productions (2014), an intense training programme with Mad Dogs Dance Theatre.

Performance and research artefacts

Research interests

Yoga and Feldenkrais, Choreographer as author


Ourila, T (2017), stardust. Dance Performance 2018, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Riley Theatre, BA year 1 students.

Ourila, T (2015), It’s a joke, Its game, It’s a dream, It’s a rhyme, It’s a perfect crime. Dance performance 2015, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Riley Theatre, Foundation Course.

Ourila, T (2011). Trespassing. Dance Performance. ACE Youth. Birmingham.