Women’s Day Inspiration: Chan Hon Goh

Women’s Day Interview with Chan Hon GohDirector: Goh Ballet Academy & Youth Company Canada, Artistic Director: Global Dance Challenge, Prima Ballerina: National Ballet of Canada (1988 – 2009)
– From a very young age, Chan’s dream to be a ballerina was unstoppable. A gifted classicist, Chan has performed all around the world and has been recognized for her talents and artistic achievements.

International Women’s Day was created in the early 1900s as a way to celebrate the accomplishments of women. Today we are honoured to share with you women who inspire us in the Arts, Media, and Community. Because it’s not just the future that is female, it’s right here, in the present.

Your parents aside, did you know you were destined for a career in ballet or did you want to pursue something else away from ballet?
I knew that my dream was to be a ballerina and it was unstoppable from a very young age. I love to personify the music, to convey emotional interpretations and to have this artistic outlet. I idolized ballet and still do to many degrees.
What’s a day in the life like for you?
My workday is never the same day twice and this is stimulating and a juggle. I have a great team in Vancouver who really rise to the occasion and can think on their toes. They contribute to the positive energy for me to take on new challenges. I may have a couple of ballet classes in the afternoon, either group coaching or one-on-one. Passing on my experience and artistry to a younger generation and to see them absorb it, perhaps do it even better than I had expected is phenomenal.
I know this was a while ago, but what did it mean to you to be the first Canadian to receive the Silver Medal at the Genee International Ballet Competition?
At the time, I didn’t realize the impact on dance in Canada as a whole and on future dancers. I was not sure I would be awarded anything at all since the standard was so high and I remember feeling incredibly grateful. I remember whilst dancing one section of the Swan Queen solo, thinking for a split second about my Mom. I often think of my Mom during the toughest times of whatever it is that I am doing. During this segment where I was physically exhausted with a series of jumps and balances, I heard my mom’s voice in my head “go for it with everything you have and then you will have no regrets”.
How do you overcome the challenges women in your industry face?
Work to prove them wrong and do the job that is above expectation.
How do you create a supportive environment for yourself and your team?
Yes, ultra important and I try my best to be supportive for everyone on my team too. Our supportive system I believe is “like-mindedness” and “mutual goals”. This commonality is a strong collaborative process. Compassion and humanity are felt and learned.
Who has been the greatest influence/mentor in your life?
So many amazing people but if I really needed to sum it all up, my beautiful parents.
What are you most proud of doing/accomplishing?
I’m still working on this one. My family life and my career are equally important to me. I would not be able to accomplish what I have to date without their love and confidence in me.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, Oakridge is proud to present an engaging and inspiring panel of women of influence. Key topics of discussion include the modern working woman, entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and taking your career to the next level.

Join us on Thursday, March 5 in the West Galleria at 5PM for some real talk, delectable cocktails and canapés, and a chance to connect with like-minded women.

Tickets are $20 each while supplies last. All proceeds will go to Avalon Women’s Society. Please register here.

Carol Liu
Carol’s look may be minimalist, and her favourite clothing lines known for simplicity, but she works her role as Marketing Coordinator to the maximum and with her super-power energy. Organized and button-down, Carol rolls up those chic sleeves and gets it done. Throw in a journalism background to keep it real, and a great quick smile to deliver the spin. Which reminds us, she’s fast too. Must be all that running.

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