Introducing award winning, international dancer, choreographer and World Class New Zealander Parris Goebel

World Class New Zealanders are high achieving New Zealanders who are making their mark on the world and defining NZ’s image internationally. Kea sat down with World Class New Zealander Parris Goebel for a Q&A about her journey, being a New Zealander and what advice she has for New Zealanders going forward.

Parris has worked with some of the biggest artists in the music industry, including Beyoncé, Justin Bieber, Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, Nicki Minaj and Rihanna. Her dance crew, Parris and her crew appeared on American Idol, America’s Best Dance Crew and Dancing with the Star US and Australia. Parris went on to choreograph Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson: One show, the American film Step Up: All In and New Zealand’s first hip-hop featured film Born to Dance. Parris also appeared in the documentary, Jennifer Lopez: Dance Again.

Parris’s dance crew ReQuest, an all-female hip hop dance crew went on to win Gold at the World Hip Hop Dance Championships in 2009, 2010 and silver in 2011. ReQuest also placed first at the World Supremacy Battlegrounds in 2009 and were the 

champions of the 2012 Body Rock Dance Competition. In 2011 Parris founded the dance crew Royal Family who went on to win Gold at the World Hip Hop Dance Championships in 2011, 2012, 2013 and silver in 2015.

Parris herself has won both Street Dance New Zealand Choreographer of the Year and Female Choreographer of the Year twice at the World of Dance Awards.

Parris and her father run The Palace Dance Studio in Auckland which is home to 7 award winning dance crews is one of the most recognised studios in the industry. Hopeful dancers audition from all around the world to be part of Parris’s hand-picked crews. The Parris Goebel touch is now coveted and this kiwi’s empire is quickly becoming dance royalty.

To add to this, Parris won the Young Leader award at the New Zealand Women of Influence Awards, the Top Variety Artist Award from the Variety Artists Club of New Zealand Inc. and Young New Zealander of the Year with the Coca Cola Amatil New Zealander of the Year.

What in your professional career or personal life are you most proud of?

The thing I am always proud of is my family who give me unconditional love and support. I am blessed with nephews & a niece and I can never get enough time with them.

In your experience what do Kiwis excel at in the eyes of the world?

Being fearless and unique. Kiwis have a really good name around the world and people like to employ kiwis cause they get the job done.

What’s an important issue which needs attention in your industry?

The standard of choreography being taught around the world. With jobs for dancers not being as many as say 10 years ago you see a lot people now saying they are choreographers.

This in turn sees a drop in the standard of what is being taught around the world if they haven’t worked for years at their craft.

What are some stand out failures/problems you faced on your journey and how did you overcome/learn from them?

Biggest thing was really the age I was as my career began to take off. When you’re working with people who have been in the industry for years and a lot of time artists who are many years older than you.

I had to really believe in what I could offer and what I brought to the table. I had to grow up fast and be very professional from the first break I got.


How has your New Zealand background contributed to your journey/success?

Being a Kiwi always has an attitude of punching above your weight. Being on the other side of the world from the industry I work in has made me ensure everyone knows I am from NZ and an attitude of we can accomplish anything we set our mind too.

What is one key lesson you want to share with New Zealand entrepreneurs?

Never just think the shores of New Zealand – the world is our stage and with modern technology you can have a presence anywhere in the world.

What will be New Zealand’s biggest strength in 10 years?

Our next generation that is coming through from teenagers today.

What are the biggest growth challenges and potential opportunities for NZ companies?

Just taking whatever we have to more parts of the world as we can is always on an ongoing opportunity.


“Never just think the shores of New Zealand – the world is our stage”

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