Goh Ballet Sets the Barre
Written by Doris Young & Edited by Meghan Munro
Light pours in from high windows as I walk into Goh Ballet Academy. Fiona Smith, Goh’s Junior Director takes me on a quick tour, showcasing two of Goh’s practice studios. The rooms are spacious, providing enough room for dancers to practice their art. Fiona mentions that one of their studios are a popular backdrop to several locally produced films and shows. After visiting the studios we stop by the Ballet Shop, where stunning recital costumes are on display and ballet equipment is available for purchase.
Goh Ballet has been in the Mount Pleasant community for over 40 years, offering various ballet classes, ranging from Classical Ballet to creative dance. All ages are welcome, as they have classes for adults, teens, and children. Over the years, Goh has continued to grow, recently opening their first studio in Toronto.
I sat down with Fiona to chat about her dance journey with Goh. Fiona first began her dance journey at a young age, and has been continuing to dance ever since. Although she took a variety of dance classes, ballet stood out for her. At the age of 15, she auditioned at Goh with the current director, Chan-Hon Goh, and was successfully accepted into Goh’s half-day program. Before returning to Goh, Fiona toured with a ballet dance company in the UK.
“As soon as I walked through the doors, I knew I found the right career for me.”Fiona on teaching ballet
As the Junior Director, Fiona’s responsibilities range from teaching private lessons to assisting with preparation for examination season. When asked how to manage the high stress during exam season, Fiona reveals that advanced preparation is key. To assist in preparing the students, both individual and group coaching sessions are offered to instill confidence.
One of Fiona’s favourite moments is when her students “get it”. Whether it’s one step or a variation they’ve been struggling with, the minute they overcome their challenge makes everything worthwhile. It’s the magical moment where students realize that their hard work has paid off and that they can achieve anything in their dance journey. Another favourite memory of Fiona’s is when her younger students put on their tutu or tiara for the first time. She recalls that some students are so overjoyed with their beautiful costumes that they are left speechless.
If you have been wanting to try out ballet, Goh offers three levels of classes, including introductory level sessions for adults. Fiona’s advice for anyone interested in dance is to take the first step and give it a try; everyone can learn how to dance!
To learn more about Goh, visit their website!
Goh Ballet Academy
2345 Main St.
Monday – Thursday: 9:00am – 7:30pm
Friday – Saturday: 9:00am – 5:30pm
Sunday: Closed for scheduled classes and rehearsals