Small World: 4 Spots Where Atlanta Kids Can Soak in Some Culture

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Looking for a way to make their tiny world a bit bigger? Read on for a roundup of places where wee ones can rediscover their roots and take their cultural curiosities global.


Alif Institute
Tucked away in a quiet DeKalb county neighborhood, this non-profit cultural center is on a mission to foster the understanding and appreciation of Arab culture. Tots as tiny as two years old can get started in Arabic language classes—or, if they are not quite ready for the commitment of leaning another language yet, there are weekly Arabic Arts & Crafts classes for children every Saturday from 1-2 p.m. These classes are free for children enrolled in Arabic classes and only $5.00 for non-students.

The Details: 3288 Marjan Dr, Norcross, 770-936-8770,

Good to Know: Moms can certainly get their fix of culture the Alif Institute, too! They offer a variety of enrichment classes, everything from cooking traditional Arabic food (yum!) to Mosaic making (beautiful!) and even Dabkeh, a traditional folk dance (fun!).


The Official School of the Atlanta Chinese Dance Company
Atlanta Chinese Dance Company teaches a blend of classical and folk dance technique. Students will have the opportunity to learn folk dances from different Chinese ethnic groups and will use traditional Chinese dance props such as the fan and sword.  Classes for little ones ages 5-7, take place on Sunday afternoon.

The Details: 5595 Covena Ct., Norcross, 770-449-9953,

Good to Know: Since 1998, Atlanta Chinese Dance Company has been featured in the “Chinese variation” of The Nutcracker with Atlanta Ballet. So, if your little one finds their calling in Chinese dance, one day you could be watching them preform at the Fabulous Fox!


Uhuru Dancers
Taking their name from the Kiswahili word Freedom,  the Uhuru Dancers have been promoting African culture in Atlanta through dance, rhythm, song, and folklore since 1989. Classes for kiddos start at age 3 and are held Friday nights at the Decatur School of Ballet.  The Wattoto Uhuru, or children of freedom, will teach the little ones the foundations of traditional African dance, music, and song.

The Details: 404 W Trinity Pl., Decatur, 404-797-9458,

Good to Know:  Looking for a way to get your parents or in-laws in on the cultural experience, too? Uhuru Dancers also has a group called Mzee Uhuru, or the Elders of Freedom and is comprised of dancers over fifty.


Flamenco Georgia
Ah, Flamenco, such a beautiful and vibrant art form. With influences from the Gypsy, Spanish, African, South American, Caribbean, Middle-Eastern, Indian, European, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim cultures, it’s probably one of the most eclectic cultural experiences you can enjoy! Flamenco classes are offered for the little one in age groups 4-6 and 7 and up. Classes for kiddos will teach basic movement as well as stories and the culture of Flamenco.

The Details: Private studio in Decatur, 404-277-1499,

Good to Know:  Are you interested in bringing the heritage of Flamenco to your little one’s school? Why not inspire learning in a whole new way?  Flamenco Georgia has a variety of shows and workshops covering all sorts of curriculum.  Olé!

Does your tot take a cultural class? Tell us about it in the comments section below!

—Candice Rose

Photos courtesy of Alif Institute, Atlanta Chinese Dance Company and Uhuru Atlanta via Facebook and Flavio~ via Creative Commons on Flickr