TORONTO — With her lithe limbs, graceful moves and youthful glow, National Ballet of Canada principal dancer Chan Hon Goh does not look like your typical retiree.
But such is life when you’re a ballerina at age 40, especially one with injuries.
Goh, who hurt her neck and upper spine in a car accident in Vancouver three years ago, will deliver her final bow this Sunday in “Giselle” at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.
As her parting performance draws near, she says she’s cherishing every moment in her tutu.
“At times throughout this rehearsal period when I think, ‘I will not be in this process anymore,’ it truly gets to my emotions and I feel very sad because I think I’ll miss it tremendously,” the Beijing-born, Vancouver-raised beauty said in a recent interview.
“It’s a voice that I’ve been able to speak with. It’s my way of expressing and so I feel in many ways that a part of me will be dying. ”
“But not to say that I will not be involved in the arts in the future — I look forward to that — it’s just that I won’t be able to personify the music that I love so much on stage anymore.”
Goh decided to retire a year ago after her physiotherapy sessions for her injuries started taking too much time away from her dancing and her family.
“I’d rather not have the situation deteriorate anymore,” said Goh, who was injured in the accident just a few months after giving birth to her son, Aveary, now three.
“I thought I’d really like to finish off my dance career on a high note and be completely happy as opposed to letting the injuries get to me.”