12 » OpenRoad Driver MAKE AND MODEL Tour de Force CHAN HON GOH Feature by Jason Sarai Photos by Ellen Ho » Chan Hon Goh is the force behind the Goh Ballet Academy in Vancouver. Following an illustrious career as the first Chinese-heritage prima ballerina with the National Ballet of Canada, she accepted an invitation to direct the academy that trained her and that bears her family’s name. Today, Chan Hon Goh is a model of success and style. Goh is an innovator in the arts community, an international dance adjudicator, mentor and business leader. She is a previous recipient of the RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, and the YWCA Women of Distinction Award. 2018 marks the tenth anniversary of the Goh Ballet’s signature production, The Nutcracker. What do you do for work? CHG: I am the director of Goh Ballet Academy and Youth Company in Vancouver and a former principal dancer of the National Ballet of Canada. I have the privilege of working with emerging artists and mentoring students daily which enriches me as I continue to grow and to learn from them too. How did you get into this line of business? CHG: It was always my dream to become a ballerina. Growing up in a family of artists, my parents were both principal dancers with the National Ballet of China, and my grandfather a painter. I felt that dance was where I could truly express myself and personify the music. What’s the most common misperception of your profession? CHG: As a ballerina, the misperception is that it’s easy, fun and effortless. Well, it only is fun, easy and effortless because we spend countless hours perfecting a single movement, practising to defy gravity and projecting graceful articulations to make what is at first impossible, possible. As a director of a dance organization, I feel the common misperception is that decisions are made in a subjective manner which discards that multitude of other elements that come into the equation without common knowledge, although it will always be “in my opinion.” What would you like your company to be recognized for? CHG: The qualities of artistic excellence, leaders in the dance educational industry, and affecting the future development of culture while contributing to community needs. Also shaping our artistic landscape. They are all driving forces propelling us to do our best.