Meet the Team - Radim Kafka
Published on 03/04/2017
As our newly appointed Store Manager of our Sydney flagship store, Radim holds great knowledge, insight and first hand professional experience in the field of performing arts, in particular ballet and dance. Radim is looking forward to bringing all of these attributes and prior knowledge, along with his reliability, patience, team work and positive attitude to his new role. Make sure to say hello to him next time you visit in store.
Born in Prague, Czech Republic, Radim studied at the Czech National Ballet Preparatory School before joining the Prague Dance Conservatory where he trained for 8 years, studying both academic and dance subjects. He graduated with ‘Absoluturium’ - Diploma of Dance (Ballet) and Ballet Teaching and was subsequently offered a place in the Czech National Ballet. During his 16 years with this company he danced numerous roles from the repertoire including Jiří Kylián’s Sinfonietta, Balanchine’s Who Cares? and Greve’s Swan Lake.
In 2010 he joined the Ballet of the National Theatre Brno, Czech Republic, dancing many roles and toured extensively with both ballet companies to many European countries as well as Turkey, Taiwan and Lebanon.
Retiring after a 20 year professional dance career, Radim moved into the administrative roles of Artistic Coordinator and Producer with the Ballet of the National Theatre Brno. As Artistic Coordinator, he liaised with the dancers and artistic team of the Ballet within the theatre including the fitting, ordering and distribution of dance shoes for the Company.
In 2015 Radim migrated permanently to Australia with his Australian wife Camille Erskine, a former professional ballerina in both the Czech National Ballet and Ballet of the National Theatre Brno.
What's your favourite thing about working at Bloch?
I enjoy meeting and helping customers in choosing the perfect Bloch product. I find it very rewarding fitting the wide range of dance and fashion shoes that Bloch has to offer.
What's your ultimate Bloch product?
My favourite Bloch product is the Classic Boost Sneaker II which are universal and I find terrific to teach in.
Do you remember your first Bloch purchase?
When I was in the Czech National Ballet in Prague, I was given my first pair of Bloch ballet flat shoes - Pumps. It was so exciting as we had never had any other different brand of ballet shoes before.
What is your favourite dance work?
I've danced in so many different ballets and productions that it is very hard to choose just one. If I had to pick, then from the classical repertoire I'd have to say Youri Vámos' version of the The Nutcracker - A Christmas Carol. From the neo-classical repertoire, how could I not go past my fellow countryman, Jiří Kylián and his Sinfonietta.
Your most embarrassing dance moment?
During a performance of Swan Lake, I was lowering my partner from a presage lift when the lace on her tutu caught on the buttons of my vest. We tried with great difficulty to disentangle ourselves...
What inspired you to start dancing?
My grandmother worked in the theatre and so used to take me to watch ballet performances. She saw how much I enjoyed the performances and so along with my parents, decided to send me to ballet lessons and I never looked back.
What was your ultimate dance role that you enjoyed the most?
I had the privilege of dancing in Uwe Scholz's The Creation of the World which was accompanied by the Janáček Opera and Orchestra to Hayden's score. This made the performance very special and exciting.
What would you love to try?
I always wanted to be a pilot but unfortunately I wouldn't have passed the eye test...
Why did you choose to work at Bloch?
After retiring from my professional dancing career, I became the Artistic Coordinator of the ballet company and one of my responsibilities was managing the ordering and distribution of all the dancers' shoes. When I subsequently migrated to Australia it seemed a fitting transition to work with a world-leading dance supply company, enabling me to interact with people from the dance world.
What motivates you at 8am on a Monday morning?
I'm up well before 8am as my baby daughter wakes very early, so when I get to work I'm looking forward very much to my first cup of coffee.
What would surprise people about you?
I enjoy cooking and since coming to Australia I love doing a good barbie!