An Expressive Port de Bras
Chan Hon Goh – Director Goh Ballet Academy, Former Principal Dancer National Ballet of Canada

An Expressive Port de Bras

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Chan Hon Goh, Director of The Goh Ballet Academy & former Principal Dancer with National Ballet of Canada, discusses the use of the elbows, wrists & fingers to create a more expressive port de bras. Ms Goh is the author of ‘Beyond the Dance: A Ballerina’s Life’, published and released in 2002 by Tundra Books. Ms. Goh is also the co-founder of Principal by Chan Hon Goh®, a Canadian dance shoe company, that makes pointe shoes, technique shoes and more.

"The hands are an extension of your being"
Born in Beijing, Chan Hon Goh received her dance training at the Goh Ballet Academy Canada, founded by her parents Choo Chiat and Lin Yee Goh who are both former Principal Dancers with the National Ballet of China. In her student years, she became the first Canadian to be awarded a coveted prize at the Royal Academy of Dance’s Genée International Ballet Competition and the silver medal at the Prix de Lausanne before launching her professional career with the National Ballet of Canada in 1988. She rapidly progressed to become the first ever Principal Dancer of Chinese heritage in the company’s history. In her illustrious 20year stage career, Ms. Goh employed her delicate lyricism and emotional depth to personify the essence of lead roles in ballets such as Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Onegin and the title roles in Giselle, Madame Butterfly and La Sylphide. She was known for the vibrancy and elegance she brought to her extensive Balanchine repertoire and had multiple roles created for her at the National Ballet of Canada. Ms. Goh frequently appeared as a Guest Artist with the Suzanne Farrell Ballet and with major ballet companies in Europe, Australia, North America and Asia. In 2010, Ms. Goh became the Director of the Goh Ballet Academy and Youth Company Canada. Ms. Goh is the author of ‘Beyond the Dance: A Ballerina’s Life’, published and released in 2002 by Tundra Books. Ms. Goh is also the co-founder of Principal by Chan Hon Goh®, the only Canadian company to manufacture shoes that are designed by dancers for dancers. Principal Shoes are available at the Goh Ballet Shop and other reputable dance retailers internationally. In 2012, Ms. Goh was appointed one of the founding members of Vancouver’s first and only Arts and Culture Policy Council; assisting in giving the city’s creative community a meaningful voice. In 2013, Ms. Goh received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her outstanding dedication to Arts and Culture. As well, in 2013, she received the coveted YWCA Women of Distinction Award for inspiring so many through her outstanding achievements and contributions to the well-being of arts. Ms. Goh has served on the jury for some of the most renowned dance competitions in the world. These include the Korea International Dance Competition and the Wien Welt Wettbewerb Ballet Competition, Vienna. She was special guest of honour and jury member for many years with the Beijing International Ballet and Choreographic Competition as well as the Beijing Dance Invitational for Dance Schools. In 2013, Ms. Goh was invited by Mr. Yury Grigorovich to be the guest of honor at the 12th Moscow International Ballet Competition and Contest of Choreographers.  
  • StretchStrength.com

    These are wonderful port de bras technique tips! Thank you! I often say “elbows, wrists fingers” to keep my students’ port de bras supple and expressive. We also use our Port de Band™ to help feel that the arm movements are initiated from the back. xoxox Miss Kim

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