Children and dancing go hand in hand. All over the world, parents sign their children up for dance classes and watch, enthralled, as the wee ones totter around on the stage. For children of relocated families it can be an especially important channel for their feelings. Through dance, little ones gain a sense of control over their world and the satisfaction of steady improvement. An education in dance is something you can continue to build upon anywhere you go.
Not to mention, it’s fun – and a great way to meet new friends, both for the dancers and their parents.
Prague has many choices for dance classes in English and other foreign languages – some with long traditions and others freshly sprouted. Here we will look at some of the more popular ones, and offer suggestions for approaching a non-English language school.
FIRST INTERNATIONAL BALLET SCHOOL IN PRAGUE
This is the oldest and best-known ballet school for children (and adults) in Prague. Only serious ballerinas need apply – there is always a waiting list and children must pass an entrance interview. Classes are conducted in English only. The teachers are all former or current soloists at the National Theatre Ballet. Thanks to the strong ties between the theatre and this school, students are the ones under consideration for children’s roles in productions like “The Nutcracker”.
Liliová 4, Prague 1
HOLMES PLACE ACADEMY
Since spring of last year, this popular gym has offered regular courses that are available to non-members, under the guise of Holmes Place Academy. In addition to many classes for adults, they offer the following for children: Ballet Intro for 4-5 year olds; Ballet with Adela Pollertova: ages 6-13; Oriental Ballet: ages 6-13; Dance Intro for 4-13 year olds; MTV Dance: ages 6-13; and even Zumba for kids. Courses are not taught in English, but the language can be supplemented depending on the ability of the teacher. At any rate, foreigners are always welcome and will be accommodated, as the gym has a modern and international vibe.
Křižíkova 44, Prague 8
Classical, modern, jazz, and even hip-hop ballet are taught to children from the age of six at this beautiful dance studio in the suburbs of Prague 6. Classes are all taught in English. The very young (ages 3 and up) can join in the rhythm class. Nathy’s takes special consideration of parents’ comfort while they wait, offering refreshments and Wi-Fi.
Drnovsk á 1097, Prague 6
INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF MUSIC AND FINE ARTS PRAGUE
This mainstay on the expat horizon has long been offering music education to kids both foreign and Czech. Their dance classes are also excellent, and are taught in English, Czech, French, Russian, and Italian. In addition to ballet, they have a varied street dance program including hip hop, street, pop, breaking, and electric boogie.
Příběnická 16, Prague 3
Teachers at Cinderella speak English, French, and Russian. Girls and boys as young as four are taught by former National Theatre Ballet soloist Ida Fišerová, who specializes in dance education.
Českomalínská 35, Prague 6
BOLLYWOOD with VENDULA
Here is a woman who makes rehearsal lots of fun and has a great way with children. Bollywood dance is a perfect outlet for kids, with its jumps and playful facial expressions. Vendula Uhyrkova’s classes are less about precision and discipline, and more about enjoyment and expanding cultural horizons. If running around giggling and whipping colorful scarves around sounds like something for your little girl, contact Vendula for a free trial class.
Plaveck á 12, Prague 2
DANCE PERFECT STUDIOS
This dance emporium offers all kinds of classes and is often involved in shows and competitions. The site is in English, so English-speaking kids will be accepted and helped as much as possible. Unlike the more stringent schools, this is a place for a good time and making friends, as well as learning the moves, so for a freshly relocated child it’s a good way to fall into step with a new life in Prague.
Národní 25, Prague 1
Who can stand for a tap-dancing cutie with a show-stopping smile? Tap dancing is a popular choice for energetic kids as it requires stamina and quick movements. 4 Taps offers lessons in English and Czech from ages 5 and up.
Štěpánská 9, Prague 2
What about schools that don’t offer lessons in English?
If dance is the international language, should you consider schools that teach only in Czech? After all, some expat kids aren’t fluent even in English yet, and the convenience of being close to home or having the right hours may mean more to some than the language the courses are taught in. Most schools are happy to take more students, but you will need to visit the school first, with a translator if necessary, and ask how open the teacher is to working with non-Czech speaking students.
The teacher might speak enough English for it to work, or believe they can demonstrate the correct technique without too much verbal elaboration. The success of such an approach would also depend on the level of dedication on the part of the student. You could ask for a trial lesson and see how it goes. One Czech-speaking school with various teachers and various degrees of English proficiency worth looking at is Sloníkov, the new indoor playground at Nové Butovice shopping center. Classes go from preschool intro to music all the way to street dance for teens. They’re on the web, in Czech, here, and you can take them on a drop-in basis.
Find more fun activities for kids at the PACK Facebook Group here!