Learning the Cambodian Traditional Mask Dance


The Cambodian mask dance is hard to learn. Students need to be strong and healthy. The mask dance is performed for any celebrations and for foreign people when they visit Fine Art school in Cambodia. The students perform it. The mask dances have their own costume with colors and brightness.

This blog features new Minnesotans who are studying English at Rondo Community Outreach Library in St. Paul. This blog entry was written by Sovanthy Meng.

Basic learning

Every morning before starting, all students and teachers need to spend 20 to 30 minutes to show their respect for their creator of the dance. After that, the students must spend five minutes warming up their own movement to get their body warm and not nervous. Than it is time to start making students’ bodies strong by doing special exercises. Then, they do the basic movements for their flexibility. Next, they start a general basic dance that is called chabunchos in Khmer languages. All of these practices must be done every day in the morning.

After students get better with the three basic steps, they need to learn the emotions for the dances, for example happiness, joy, and sadness etc. Then they start to learn basic mask dance, which translates their postures and their emotions into dance. The next step to complete to be a professional dancer is that they need to learn to create short story for performance.