History of „Proty boty“

Originally, the name of the group was Cyrano's Shoes. This group was founded in 2001 by Věrka Bělehrádková under the auspices of Leisure Time Centre Lužánky. She was its leader until 2006. As Cyrano's Shoes began to grow, another group was created, Rytmodivadlo, and another group of dancers. It was at this time that the group started to be called „Integra“, a name under which it is still known among the public. In 2006, Jitka Semotamová took the lead of the group. In this position she created several performances and founded a festival called „Dance and Disability“ focusing on integrated dance which still exists today. In 2010, Kateřina H. Hanzlíková together with Jitka Mozorová became the leaders of the group. Jitka was in charge of the technique in dance training, Katerina’s role was to introduce the performance. After three years, Jitka left the group to return in 2016 as a lecturer and dancer. 

Autumn 2015

After several years of collaboration with the Leisure Time Centre Lužánky, the integrated dance group Cyrano's Shoes became independent and set off in its own direction with a new name „Proty boty“. As Cyrano once solemnly declared:  „Thus I toss my poor hat aside...“

Read the whole fairy tale about How the shoes wandered the world:

How the shoes wandered the world

Once upon time, in one picturesque village in the middle of a valley hidden among hills covered with beautiful deciduous forests, there lived an old, but very skilled shoemaker. He was able to sew shoes of all kinds and of all possible and impossible variations. In the middle of one sunny morning in June, there was a knock on his gate door. It was young Janek from Horní Lhota, a small nearby village close to the Black Forest. He came to beg the old shoemaker to teach him his craft. The old man was hesitant for a moment, but in the end he agreed.


Janek was very skilful, and so within two years he was able to handle everything the master had taught him. And it was convenient, since the old man was beginning to age and he decided that he would hand over his workshop to the young Janek. This way the old man was able to enjoy the autumn of his life with his old lady.


Janek was very successful in his work, his reputation spread throughout the land and he soon became the most sought-after shoemaker in the kingdom. Even the King himself asked Janek to make several pair of shoes for him. Janek grew enormously rich. And as the world works, the riches got into his head. He began to enjoy it to the full. Every night, he would go dancing. There was no time to work anymore. One afternoon he went off dancing again. One day passed, two days passed, three days passed and Janek was nowhere to be seen. Then came winter, then came spring, then came summer. Suddenly it was autumn again and Janek still hadn’t returned. His workshop started to look abandoned. There was dust and spider webs everywhere. New shoes, clogs and sabots, and shoes waiting to be repaired were becoming more and more nervous. One day they decided that they would no longer wait for Janek and would go wandering the world. But the door was locked and they didn't know how to open it. They all rounded up in front of the door. ONE, TWO, THREE, GO! They forced the door open and set off on their own journey. The workshop was left in chaos after they left. The all went marching away, even three single sneakers that didn't fit into a pair. No one cared if they were paired up or not. 


The autumn was beautiful and full of colours. They were walking on a soft colourful carpet of leaves. Their journey was pleasant and cheerful. Some of the shoes had holes and with every step they made a jolly, squelching sound. Each sound was a bit different, depending on the material they were made of. And in the squelching and squeaking process a cheerful melody was created which everyone liked. They started to hum it, to sing it and gradually the melody turned into a song.


Oh those shoes, singing their blues,


wandering the world, plain or furred.


Our steps our huge,


after us deluge.


Oh those shoes, hear the news!


Do you want to prance? Join us in the dance!


And they wandered the world, singing their song. Whoever saw them and heard them, couldn't help but like them. No one was even looking for Janek to repair them. The shoes were even able to unite the biggest enemies who had not talked to each other for years. And since then, every village wanted to have those shoes in their dance hall. And so a saying was created: Go get those shoes! (In Czech: Skočte „pro ty boty“!)


And the wheel bend, and the story end....? :)



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