Sports, Dance, Music and Art: Extraordinary Extracurriculars for Expat Kids

Sports, Dance, Music and Art: Extraordinary Extracurriculars for Expat Kids

For expat parents in Beijing, finding the right extracurricular activities to keep our children active, happy and entertained can be a bit of an obstacle. Chinese extracurricular activities tend towards the academic, and intramural sports are nearly unheard of in China. Budding gymnasts train in special schools and musicians move up the ranks through a complex testing system. Not only that, but most activities geared towards children in Beijing are conducted in Chinese. Therefore, we’ve compiled a directory to help parents in Beijing choose the right activities – in English – for their children.


There are several options for budding athletes in Beijing, from a multitude of sports offered at both recreational and competitive levels.

1) Multisport
Multisport offers classes for gymnastics, swimming, trampolining, basketball, tennis and soccer. Classes are taught in English and the staff is composed of qualified physical education instructors. Multisport’s Gym for Tots program offers recreational gymnastics classes for children from age 1 up. Different courses are held at various locations, mostly at international schools in Chaoyang and Shunyi.

Tel: 010 6507 2971

2) Sports Beijing
Sports Beijing also offers a variety of extracurricular sports classes for children aged 4 and up: gymnastics (artistic and rhythmic), soccer, swimming, tennis, rock climbing, basketball, golf, rugby and martial arts. Sports Beijing offers competitive team sports and their gymnastics coaching team includes men and women who have trained with the Chinese national team. Classes are held at various locations throughout Beijing, usually at international schools, although most classes are open to the public.

Tel: 010 6430 1370


Dance is a popular activity in China as well as back home, but finding a studio where lessons are taught in English can be difficult. Here are a few of the more popular options.

1) The Youth Academy of Performing Art
The Youth Academy of Performing Arts is a Chinese-run dance school which offers lessons conducted in English upon request. Various styles are offered such as ballet, hip-hop, Latin, Chinese folk dance and musical theater. Many staff members are professional dancers, including a ballerina who formerly was a member of the National Ballet of Moscow. There are two locations, one near Chaoyang Park and one in Haidian.

Tel: 010 5928 2110

Chaoyang Park CampusView In Map
Add: 105 Yaojiayuan, Guanhu International Tower, Building 1, 20th Floor, Beijing
地址: 北京市朝阳区观湖国际大厦1号楼20层

Haidian CampusView In Map
Add: 69 Fuxing Lu, Huaxi Lemao Shangchang, Haidian District, Beijing
地址: 北京市海淀区复兴路69号华熙乐茂商场6层

2) J-Ballet Studio
J-Ballet Studio is probably the most popular ballet school choice for expat children. J-Ballet is owned and run by a Japanese dancer and offers classes in English, Chinese or Japanese. Classes are available for children age 3 and up, and they even offer adult classes as well. J-Ballet also has a ballet shop that sells ballet equipment such as leotards and shoes. There are two locations, both in Chaoyang district.

Tel: 138 0103 6364 (ask for Ms. Takeda)

Main LocationView In Map
Add: D-1F Jingxiuyuan Ap., Xingfucun Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing
地址: 北京市朝阳区幸福村中路锦绣园公寓 D座1层

Kempinski LocationView In Map
Add: Kempinski Hotel, Lufthansa Center, Beijing PULSE Health Club, 50 Liangmaqiao Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing
地址: 北京市朝阳区亮马桥路50号 凯宾斯基饭店 北京燕莎中心 都市脉搏健身俱乐部


While many parents would like to foster a love of music in their children, knowing where to find lessons conducted in English can be difficult. Here are a few popular options for those with small children.

1) Kindermusik with Yuliya
While there are many licensed Kindermusik instructors in Beijing, one of the most well known is Yuliya, who has started a successful music and movement school that offers classes for kids ages 0 to 14. Kindermusik “is based on the belief that all children are born being ‘musical’ and this program offers them an opportunity to interact with, and express themselves musically to give them a lifelong expression of it.” Yuliya’s classes also offer new moms a chance to meet and interact, and provide one of the few opportunities out there for small babies and toddlers to get involved in music. Yuliya has three locations so be sure to check and make sure that the class you want is offered at the location nearest you.

Tel: 136 2135 4114

Location A: "Familier Center"View In Map
Add: Suite 0753, Tower A, Chaowai SOHO, 6 Chaowai Dajie, Chaoyang District, Beijing
地址: 北京市朝阳区朝外大街乙六号朝外SOHO, A座,7层0753

Location B: "House of Knowledge" View In Map
Add: International Kindergarten, Victoria Gardens Campus, 15 Chaoyang Park Xilu, West Gates, Chaoyang District, Beijing
地址: 北京市朝阳区朝阳公园西路15号维多利亚花园小区

Location C: J-Ballet Studio View In Map
Add: D-1F Jingxiuyuan Ap., Xingfucun Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing
地址: 北京市朝阳区幸福村中路锦绣园公寓 D座1层

2) My Little Mozart
My Little Mozart offers piano classes on a the graded system as well as recreational piano classes for children age 4 and up. Group and private lessons are available and taught in English. My Little Mozart also offers Kindermusik and music and movement classes for younger children. My Little Mozart is run by Kristin Koh and has branches in Beijing as well as California.

Chaoyang CampusView In Map
Add: Li Shui Jia Yuan Block No. 5, Apartment 108, Chaoyang District, Beijing
地址: 北京市朝阳区六里屯丽水嘉园5号楼108室
Tel: 135 2256 3767


What child doesn’t love art? Give your child the chance to let his or her artistic side shine in these art programs designed for expat children.

1) The Familier View In Map
The Familier in SOHO provides weekend and weekday art classes for children age 4 and up. Among the classes offered are Chinese brush painting, ceramics, t-shirt painting and drawing and classes include a snack and a drink. The Familier offers drop off services for busy parents who need a break and pricing includes a sibling discount.

Add: Chaowai SOHO, #6 Chaowai Dajie Tower A: Unit 0753, Chaoyang District, Beijing
地址: 北京市朝阳区朝外大街 乙六朝外SOHO A座 0753
Tel: 010 5869 2904

2) Beijing Color Studio
The Beijing Color Studio is located near the 798 Art District. It is a professional art studio that offers classes for adults and children. Classes available for children include Multimedia Art for ages 5 to 9 and a Technical Skills Art course for ages 9 to 14. Both classes use a variety of materials including acrylic, pencil, ink, charcoal etc. and are aimed at children interested in developing and exploring their artistic abilities.

See location map on Beijing Color Studio’s website.
Tel: 136 7129 5154

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Keywords: extracurricular activities for expat kids in Beijing kids sports beijing children dance lessons beijing Beijing expat kids activities beijing children art classes


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