Chan Hon Goh

Former Prima Ballerina with the National Ballet of Canada, Chan Hon Goh, dances a variety of performance repertoire in this promotional video (courtesy Goh Ballet).

Ballerina Chan Hon Goh earned international acclaim as a Canadian classical ballerina of great poise and delicacy. She comes from a Chinese family deeply immersed in dance, especially on the side of her father, Choo Chiat Goh. Both her parents were principal dancers with the National Ballet of China. The family settled in Canada in 1977, where Goh's parents opened the now much-respected Goh Ballet Academy in Vancouver the following year.

Her parents were initially reluctant to consider Goh for the physically exacting art of ballet and enrolled her in piano classes. At age 9, however, Goh began studying ballet with an aunt and latterly with her parents at the Goh Ballet Academy. In 1988, she was the first Canadian to win a silver medal at the prestigious Genée International Ballet competition in England and the same year joined the National Ballet of Canada, where she rose through the company to become a principal dancer in 1994. Due to injuries sustained in a 2006 auto accident, she retired in 2009 after a farewell performance in Giselle. Goh's cumulative repertoire with the National Ballet was diverse and extensive, ranging from the traditional full-length story ballets to abstract contemporary works, but she has been especially noted for her refined classicism and a dramatic gift that is subtly embedded in the expressiveness of her dancing.

Learn more: Chan Hon Goh in The Canadian Encyclopedia
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