DANCE lovers in the Capital are to be given the chance to make a splash like the Ladyboys of Bangkok as the group’s former choreographer is to launch his own school.
Anthony Suriyanon, from Phuket in Thailand, will teach Zumba at venues across the city from May 14, but the classes will come with a twist.
The 38-year-old, who moved to the Capital only a few months ago to live with his new Edinburgh wife, has decided to include routines inspired by the extravagant performances of the gender-bending Ladyboys troupe.
Mr Suriyanon, who is studying English at Jewel and Esk Valley College, will offer five classes a week at the Scottish Taekwondo Academy in Gorgie, Leith’s Edinburgh Studio and the Church Hall, Bruntsfield.
He said: “The class will be Zumba but I’m going to do something different in the warm-up and cool-down session, something that could use one of the dances done by the Ladyboys of Bangkok.
“The Ladyboys have something – they need to show off and want to pose like pop dancers. I want to bring something of that to my Zumba classes.”
Zumba is the latest dance form to be mastered by Mr Suriyanon, who recently gained a licence to teach the style.
He began his career after moving to Bangkok in 1987 and joining the city’s Dance Academy. He went on to find work in the clubs of the Thai capital, where he was a jazz and street dancer while taking odd jobs as a gardener, fisher and swimming pool attendant.
He also travelled to Malaysia in the early 1990s and later appeared on stage with S Club 7 for one of the pop group’s early gigs.
Mr Suriyanon joined the Ladyboys of Bangkok as a dancer 17 years ago before becoming a choreographer.
He said: “The choreography was difficult because the Ladyboys are male – they do not move like females when they dance. But still I tried with them and, though it was hard, I was happy.”
Mr Suriyanon first met his wife, Stephanie, 36, in 2008 when she came to one of his shows in the Capital.
She said: “Anthony loved teaching the Ladyboys new dance routines here in Edinburgh and was always warmly received with the audience here clearly having lots of fun.
“Anthony plans to take this fun aspect into the teaching of his dance classes so as well as the Zumba dance routines, he’ll also have a couple of his own true Ladyboy style dances to throw in, and all done with a big smile on his face.”