CLA Presents: Inspiring Women in the Arts (PART 3)

My father is a Khmer traditional music player. My mother is a Khmer traditional dance teacher. At the time, they didn’t want me to become a dancer. And they told me that it’s too hard. When I was 5, I often followed my mom to The Royal University of Fine Arts to watch students practicing dance I remembered gazing through the window. The window was square like this and was very high,
and I was very small But I tried to cling to the window to watch them dance Then I saw the main dancer, she was Ms. CHEA Samy’s student. She was already a grown-up. Her name was YEM Tevy. She was very pretty and danced marvellously When she would pass by, people would be jawdropping,
or they would fall off their chair… I loved her so much and I said I wanted to dance. When Ms. CHEA Samy saw me like that she called me to go to the practice room and asked me to dance. After I practiced with her for a few days, she set me to perform with YEM Tevy on stage. I was just 5 years old. I was very happy and very proud. Since then I always asked my parents to let me practicing dance…
And I’ve been practicing until now. I think my work is like “food”, Food to feed Khmer people. Food to be emotionally healthy. Because Cambodia is a country with a very old culture. We have culture and civilization. We were born with culture so we cannot forget our culture. I’m trying to mix Khmer dance with foreign dance together… But it still has the Khmer vibe in it… For Cambodians to enjoy and acknowledge. When I was pregnant and gave birth to my two children… That is my best memory. When I was pregnant I kept dancing. Khmer people would say, when you’re pregnant,
you shouldn’t dance, it’s bad for the child. But I don’t think so, I even asked the doctors and they told me it’s fine… …It will make the child smarter. When I successfully gave birth,
I danced for my children to watch. That’s my best memory.

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