Magazine article Dance Magazine

Ballerina as Entrepreneur. (News)

Magazine article Dance Magazine

Ballerina as Entrepreneur. (News)

Article excerpt

Ballerina Chan Hon Goh, 34, is one of The National Ballet of Canada's most exquisite principal dancers. A gifted classicist, she has also won praise for the strength of her dramatic characterizations. A favorite of Suzanne Farrell, Goh has been a lead dancer in Farrell's acclaimed yearly Balanchine remounts at the Kennedy Center for the last three years. As a guest artist, she has appeared all over the world. For most ballerinas, such a glittering career would be enough of a workload. Goh, however, is also an author, businesswoman, and impresario--and she still finds time to be, by her own admission, an activist role model for immigrant women. In short, Goh represents a new breed of self-marketing ballerina. "Dancers are starting to use their heads," she says. "We have short careers, so it's smart to look for other projects that will guarantee financial security."

Goh and her husband, Chun Che, a prominent Toronto ballet teacher, developed in 1997 a successful line of pointe and slipper shoes for women and men that the pair design and market on their own. Retailing for $70 (CDN), Principal Shoes sells, on average, 10,000 pairs a year. NBC purchased Goh's boots for the men for Artistic Director James Kudelka's Swan Lake. "Our mandate," says Goh, "was to develop a longer-lasting, affordable, hand-made shoe, without New Age material, that provides the maximum balance, support, and weight distribution for a dancer's needs in both training and performance. …

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