Born in Prague in 1986, Jiří Waňka studied at the Prague Dance Conservatory with Profs. Jaroslav Slavický, Pavel Ždichynec, Alena Drapalíká and Nelly Danko, graduating in 2006. He represented the school at numerous performances at home and abroad (Bratislava, Valenciennes, Zittau, Magdeburg), dancing in the choreographies Evening Songs (Jiří Kylián), Bolero (Petr Zuska), Help Me! (Alena Drapalíková), The Sleeping Beauty (the roles of the Cavalier and the Blue Bird; Jaroslav Slavický, after Marius Petipa), Lucky Seven (the role of the Cowboy; David Stránský, Tomáš Rychetský), Talking to Frida (Jiří Kodet), Polovtsian Dances (Jaroslav Slavický, after Michel Fokine) and Trojan Games (Robert North).
In 2006 he joined the Czech National Ballet, where he has portrayed the solo role of Benno and danced the Pas de trois in Swan Lake (Kenneth Greve), appeared as Benvolio in Romeo and Juliet (Yuri Vàmos), Gurn in La Sylphide, 1st variation, Pas de six in Act III in Napoli (Frank Andersen, after August Bournonville), the Golden Stag in The Sleeping Beauty (Javier Torres), the Prince’s Friend in Cinderella (J.-C. Maillot), and also danced in Giselle, Raymonda, The Nutcracker – A Christmas Carol, Onegin, Romeo and Juliet and La Bayadére.
He has also performed in modern repertoire pieces, dancing in choreographies by Jiří Kylián (Sinfonietta, Last Touch), George Balanchine (Theme and Variations), Jacopo Godani (Reflections on the Fate of Human Forms), Petr Zuska (Brel – Vysotsky– Kryl / Solo for Three, D.M.J. 1953–1977, A Little Touch of the Last Extreme), Jan Kodet (Goldilocks and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice), Zuzana Šimáková (6/2 of a Human), Johan Greben and Uri Ivgi (Santa Says Cut It!), Hana Turečková (Ciacony, White is the Colour of Sorrow ), Dana Palátová (Dreaming) and Mattio Mantellato (Plaisir d’amour).
Jiří Waňka has also created the choreographies La Persona, The Centaur and Jacqueline du Pré, featured within the mixed bill Miniatures and staged at the Estates Theatre in Prague. He has received a number of awards, including 2nd prize in the Excellence Valenciennes category (France, 2004), 1st prize in the Pre-professional Valenciennes category (France, 2006), and an honourable mention and premium in the International Ballet Competition in Brno (Czech Republic, 2006).