Chan Hon Goh, Prima Ballerina of the National Ballet of Canada from 1994 to 2009 and current Director of the Goh Ballet Academy in Vancouver, instructs ballerina hopefuls at Leaping Feats in Whitehorse. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Twinkle toes: Ballet great visits Whitehorse

‘It means that we have kids that are worth coming to see’

Young ballerina hopefuls had the rare opportunity to work with one Canada’s top ballet dancers and instructors when she visited Whitehorse Feb. 17 as part of an international tour.

Chan Hon Goh, prima ballerina of the National Ballet of Canada from 1994 to 2009, stopped at Leaping Feats Creative Danceworks in Whitehorse over the weekend for her second time in three years. Students were able to experience first-hand coaching and one-on-one instruction from the former principal ballet dancer.

While dancers don’t train in Whitehorse as “intensively” as students do at the Goh Ballet Academy in Vancouver, Goh said she’s “thrilled” to see a thriving classical ballet community in the city.

“I found the level to be higher than when I was here last time,” she said, “and I was really happy to see that.”

Allyn Walton, a ballet instructor at Leaping Feats, said the fact that Goh decided to add Whitehorse to her tour says a lot about the local dance community.

“Having someone like Goh come to the Yukon means that we are kind of staking our claim in our dance community in Canada,” said Walton. “It means that we have kids that are worth coming to see.”

Contact Crystal Schick at crystal.schick@yukon-news.com

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Chan Hon Goh teaches the dancers one last short routine before the end of the session. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

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