Choo Chiat Goh

A Co-Founder of Goh Ballet Academy, Choo Chiat Goh is an ambassador in the art of classical ballet. Under his leadership, the Goh Ballet Academy has flourished to become an internationally renowned institution, with alumni dancers advancing professionally worldwide and winning prestigious competitions. The Academy has collaborated with ballet luminaries, such as Anna–Marie Holmes, Evelyn Hart, and Rex Harrington, and has toured and arranged collaborative productions with other ballet companies in Canada, China, France, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, and the United States.

Mr. Goh began his training as a dancer on a scholarship at London’s Royal Ballet, where he studied with the great pioneers of ballet, Harold Turner and Madame Legat. At age 16, he was invited to join the London Festival Ballet, but declined in favour of studying in Beijing with the Russian ballet master, Pyotr Gusiev. He graduated from the Beijing Dance Academy in 1959 and immediately joined the Central Ballet of China, becoming Principal Dancer. His dancing repertoire includes leading roles in Le Corsaire, Giselle, La Fille Mal Gardee, Les Sylphides,Sleeping Beauty, The Fountain of Bakhchisarai, Swan Lake and many other classics. During the Cultural Revolution, Mr. Goh broke new ground by creating lead roles in The Red Detachment of Women and The White Haired Girl.

“Audiences come to the ballet not to see exceptional technique, but to feel something – the human drama and beauty that ballet can capture and express. Of course dancers must have technique, but technique means little if nothing is expressed with it”

— Choo Chiat Goh, Co-Founder

In 1976, Mr. Goh immigrated to Canada with a dream of starting his own ballet company. In 1977, while also serving as Ballet Master with the Anna Wyman Dance Company, he started the Goh Ballet Academy with his wife, Mrs. Lin Yee Goh. They embarked on a mission to establish a ballet academy of the highest standards, recognized all over the world. Through passion, talent, faith and hard work, this was achieved, cementing the school as one of the best in the world.

Mr. Goh’s celebrated choreographic works include Earth/River, and Lost Love. Both he and Mrs. Goh were presented with the 2003 City of Vancouver Civic Merit Award and the 2006 BC Community Achievement Award.