Before performing, our dancers maprayingke offerings of flowers, incense, and prayers to the spirits of their teachers. This shows respect and taps into the spiritual strength of the teachers. It also puts a dancer in a calm, meditative state of mind, which she needs to perform at her best.

Our most sacred dance piece, "Goddess of the Waters," or Mani Mekhala, embodies the spirit of the gods for us. Until recently, the royal court dance troupe toured sacred temples and pagodas, performing this dance-drama to make sure our country would be prosperous. We still perform it for the Cambodian New Year and our people feel some religious or ritual effect.