Modern jazz and contemporary dance are now available at the town’s first modern dance school. Dance Studio, in Charming City, is the brainchild of French expat Peggy Angeletti, and caters for all ages.
Former dance teacher Angeletti has been dancing since she was six, but hadn’t danced for ten years when she moved to Siem Reap – now she has rediscovered her love of it.
“I have been passionate about dance all my life,” she says. “I used to be a dancer and took lessons from when I was six until 30 years old, I started with classic ballet. I worked as a dance teacher ten years ago, then I became a flight attendant and when I came to Cambodia it was obvious that I had to do something with the kids – my dream is to eventually give all the kids in this town an opportunity to dance.”
Angeletti says she noticed when she first came to Siem Reap that dance enthusiasts weren’t really catered for. She wondered is there was much dancing practiced in town and told friends she would like to learn Cambodian dance.
“I was joking with my friend who said maybe you’ll live here one day and open your school,” she says.
Two years later her dream became a reality, thanks to the French School of Siem Reap who approached her to teach their young students.
“It was a fantastic idea,” she says, “ I went there and saw the place – it was quite small and they then said if I found my own place they would send me all the kids. So it was a great opportunity.”
Angeletti found a venue close to the school, and also opened her Dance Studio in October.
“I have two places,” she says. “Along with a musician, we decided to create an art place called the Art School and I rent a space there. He gives music lessons and I do dance lessons. This place is great for small kids – safe, on the ground floor. But the dance area is not so big so I decided to rent another place in Charming City which appropriate for teenagers and adults, the Dance Studio.”
Classes run throughout the week at both venues and have proved increasingly popular.
She specialises in modern jazz and contemporary dance. “For the kids, 6-14 years old it’s more modern jazz – Rihanna, Lady Gaga, that kind of thing, fun. And for the adults it’s more contemporary, slower and more technical, between ballet and modern jazz.
“For me it was important to do something with the kids –there are not so many activities for them here, plus at their age, their bodies are growing and they need good exercises to help them to extend their muscles. It’s something fun. I can give something I’ve been learning for 22 years.”
Angeletti is arranging a lunch and a small performance at her studio on January 12 for all the parents and students. She is also collaborating with Siem Reap International School on a big musical project next year, and plans to hold a performance for the general public at her Dance Studio next summer.”