Dancers from the Cambodian Cultural Dance Troupe with instructors Savary Dean (center) and Ryan Boun (right). Photo: Courtesy of CARA.

Cambodian Cultural Dance Troupe of San Jose

Cambodian Classical and Folk Dances

About the Organization

April 2019 Cambodian New Year Performance at Tully Community Library. Photo: Courtesy of CARA.

The Cambodian Cultural Dance Troupe of San Jose (CCDTSJ) has operated as a dance school for the wider Bay Area community for more than 30 years under the auspices of the Cambodian American Resource Agency (CARA). Students from throughout the Bay Area have participated in the program because of the quality of instruction in classical and folk dances provided by Savary Dean and Charya Burt (a frequent mentor in ACTA’s apprenticeship program). Not only has the CCDTSJ instructed generations of students in dance, but it also functions as a “secondary place” for the Cambodian-American diaspora: a place to explore being Cambodian-American outside of immediate family and connect with other Cambodian-American peers. The CCDTSJ has also organized productions of traditional folk theater and presented at Mixed Melodies, a 2021 collaborative and intercultural musical event. For the past 30 years, the troupe has performed annually as part of the Cambodian New Year at various locations in San Jose.


The CCDTSJ and CARA during Mixed Melodies.


Living Cultures Grant


Bay Area Cambodian Cultural Festival

In 2022, the CCDTSJ received a grant from ACTA’s Living Cultures Grant Program to organize a family friendly Bay Area Cambodian Cultural Festival, planned for early May of 2023, in collaboration with Cambodian communities throughout the Bay Area and the Central Valley. Along with performances by the CCDTSJ and the Ho Chan Ensemble, the event will include Cambodian foods, as well as activities for audience and attendee participation.


Khmer New Year 2024 Festival

CARA recived funds to put together an evening length arts showcase in Spring 2024 for the Khmer New Year celebration.

Ryan Boun;;

Robam Tangyu, or The Umbrella Dance at the annual Cambodian Community Picnic in 2022. Photo: Courtesy of CARA.

Ryan Boun leading Chha Banchoss, a foundation for all Cambodian traditional dance. Photo: Courtesy of the CARA.

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