Monkey Dance
About the Film The Director Screenings Press Talk Back Educational Use

"Things are going well. I graduated from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in May of 2005, with a major in Sociology and minors in Criminal Justice and Social Work.  I am currently working for the Lowell Community Health Center's Lowell Teen Coalition as a Health Educator/Case Manager. I am providing direct service for primarily Cambodian-American youth. The program focuses on engaging youth and providing them with leadership skills and opportunities. A major component of the program is called The Journey Healing Series which screens Monkey Dance as part of its film series, making it a perfect connection with our shared struggles as Cambodian-Americans. I'm still dancing with Angkor and serving as it's Assistant Dance Program Director. I did begin takingg graduate classes but have not yet committed to a program. So life is moving along smoothly.

As for the documentary, I hope that the stories we shared have opened people up to the daily grind of a teenager growing up in two worlds, and that we all had various goals and dreams in life, but there was one thing that bonded us together — the love we had for our culture. My hopes are that people see the film not only as a story of our lives but also of the importance of culture and heritage, and the importance of communication between family." Email Linda

"I went to school at University of Massachusetts Amherst, where I was a math major.  Now, I'm a math teacher at Butler Middle School, where I went when I was younger.  Through college, I have stayed involved with the dance troupe by teaching every weekend and doing as many performances as I could.  Throughout the years, I have tried to stay connected with all the programs I was involved in and help Jim Conlon out with Big Brother Big Sister and all the other youth programs.

My plan and goal for the future is buy a house for my mom and families.  Once I accomplish that I will focus on my own family and try to give as much time as I can to the youth of Lowell.  I hope to accomplish this by teaching at Lowell High, coaching gymnastics there, and working with the dance troupe, ADAM Project and all the other youth programs.  I know I have one problem: how will I be able to do all this without neglecting my family and stuff?  Actually there is a simple response to this — I have no idea what so ever!  When the time comes, I hope things get clearer.  Just doing my best is my goal right now.

I hope that Monkey Dance serves as inspiration for many of the youth that are able to see it.  I hope that the kids that need to see it actually get to see it, meaning that the at-risk youth see it, and see it as motivation that they can achieve something.  I also would like to see our culture be more cherished by the youth so that it will remain forever.  I also hope that the youth feel good about themselves knowing there are crazier or dorkier people than them in real life (me!)." Email Samnang

"I Graduated in May, 2007 from Massachusetts College of Art with a Bachelors in Fine Art in the field of Industrial Design (product design). Upon graduation I was given the opportunity to intern with a design consultancy named ITEM New Product Development located in Providence, Rhode Island. I Worked with 7 other students in a project that will hopefully one day change the atmosphere and working conditions in a Resuscitation Bay. My internship with ITEM ended in the end of August and I am now working on some freelance work.

During my free time I am still working on designing custom T-shirts and Sneakers. Also, if anyone is wondering if I gave up dancing, the answer is no. I was asked to choreograph a routine to students for an after school program that is still in the making in Fall River, Massachusetts.

So cross your fingers and hope everything goes through."
Email Sochenda