“It works for me!” -Chan Hon Goh

Former prima ballerina Chan Hon Goh was destined to dance. Born in Beijing, she immigrated with her family to Vancouver,


Former prima ballerina Chan Hon Goh was destined to dance. Born in Beijing, she immigrated with her family to Vancouver, where her parents (both principal dancers as well) opened the Goh Ballet Academy – where she is now the director.

Learn a little more about her in this instalment of "it works for me."

10 words that describe you: Curious, opinionated, active, perfectionist, gracious, considerate, confident, private, compassionate, high-achieving.

First paid job: When I was in high school, a family friend owned an import-export business and needed someone to answer the phones during the summer. I got paid minimum wage.

Dream job: I think I have my dream job. I’ve always wanted to work for myself. I get to run the mentoring and teaching part of the art (of ballet) and that’s equally fulfilling.

Most memorable moment: Unforgettable moments were those special ones on stage where you wish you could make time to stop. You can never re-live them, but I think certain roles that I’ve done were especially fulfilling – my favourites were playing characters that have substance. Romeo and Juliet, for example. Or Gisele, which is the role I retired with.

Favourite ballet pose: I love to jump. It feels like being able to defy gravity.

Least-favourite ballet pose:
High extensions.

Diet: Generally, I don’t have restrictions. But I’m more prone to always have protein in my diet – a habit from my dancing days, when it was important to have enough nutrition to sustain the long hours.

Go-to healthy snack:
Veggies with hummus or tzatziki.

Favourite food indulgence: My tastes changed after I had my son. Prior to this I’d say French pastries. Since I’ve had my child, slowly it’s changed to savoury things like potato chips or certain fried foods.

Red or white wine? White.

Coffee or tea? I drink both. I absolutely have to have good coffee in the morning – made with freshly ground beans and a good coffee maker.

Indoor or outdoor workouts?
I’m a creature of habit – so definitely indoor. Though on tour in an open-air theatre in the summertime is wonderful. It’s like freedom.

Favourite workout:
Speed walks. Vancouver is such a beautiful place for that. I also do pilates for toning and core stability.

Morning or evening workouts?
Definitely morning.

Celeb crush:
George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Pierce Brosnan.

Dream travel destination: I’ve never been to Dubai. I like to go to more exotic places. They’re part of my imagination.

Healthy living philosophy: Stay hydrated, get enough sleep and keep a sense of humour. And of course, to give and receive love.

Chan Hon Goh with be travelling across Canada throughout April to teach aspiring ballerinas, as part of Goh Ballet’s first Canadian national ballet master class series. To book a class in your city, register here.

-Katharine Watts, associate web editor

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