Award-winning choreographer Parris Goebel has been recognised for her contribution to New Zealand by receiving a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to dance.

Goebel is the leader of the Royal Family Dance Crew, who have won the World Hip Hop Dance Championships three consecutive times. She has also choreographed for Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Sam Smith and other high-profile musical acts.

In an interview with RadioNZ, Goebel said the award was an unexpected honour as dance was often passed over for other sporting categories.

“We’d hear of different people getting it as I was growing up but I never imagined myself getting this honour to be honest,” she said.

“I guess just being in the dance industry … sometimes there’s a lot of stigma around that.”

Goebel recalled being younger when people would often laugh at her when she spoke of her dreams to make it worldwide.

She said no one believed a young girl from Auckland could become an internationally renowned dancer, which only drove her to want it more.

“I would say from the success of the Royal Family, and you know, the things that I’ve been able to do in my career show other young dancers ‘hey you can do it’.”

“It doesn’t matter if you’re from little old New Zealand, if you work hard enough anything is possible,” she said.

Her next move is choreographing Jennifer Lopez’s Super Bowl half-time show and representing New Zealand as the entertainment and cultural curator at the Dubai World Expo later this year.

Congratulations, Parris! Stay tuned to The Last Fashion Bible for more updates about the talented choreographer.

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