Dancer Parris Goebel. Picture / Supplied.

I want your job: Dancer Parris Goebel

The 2014 Young New Zealander of the Year shares her rise to fame

At just 22, dancer Parris Goebel has an impressive CV that reads like every aspiring professional dancer's dream.

The 2014 Young New Zealander of the Year has featured in and choreographed parts of the latest Step Up 5, rubbed shoulders with big names such as Jennifer Lopez and won the World Hip Hop Dance Championship with her dance crew - three times.

Goebel also owns dance studio The Palace - a smoke- and alcohol-free environment where "each dancer uses hip-hop as a way to follow their dreams from dancing for fun to dancing on the world stage".

Take a look at how Goebel got to where she is today.


As a teenager, what did you want to be when you 'grew up'?
I have always wanted to be a dancer. From the age of 3, I remember doing nothing else but dancing all the time.

What does your typical day entail?
It really varies from day to day due to the number of different projects I am working on. I always have a smoothie for breakfast to start off the day. Usually I would spend around eight hours on set, at the studio, at a venue working on a project. On top of that I have meetings, time spent preparing choreography for all the projects and a lot of publicity commitments.

Best and worst parts about your job?
Worst part is being away from home from my family and constantly travelling the world and living out of a suitcase.
Best part is obviously I wake up each day and do something I love. I travel the world, work with so many amazing people and get to do creative work.

Three things you couldn't live without at work?
Laptop, M.A.C cosmetics and iPhone.

How did you get to where you are today?
I started making a name for myself when my crew ReQuest won the World Hip-Hop Championships two years in a row. At the same time, I was selected as one of 14 dancers out of thousands to perform in a show put on by Monsters of Hip-Hop. I then started posting my work on YouTube and one day got a call from the Jennifer Lopez camp to go to the States and choreograph some numbers for her in her new show she was about to tour the world with. From there I was offered a job with Cirque du Soleil to work on the Michael Jackson show ONE, which was opening in Las Vegas. Since then I haven't looked back as more opportunities continue to come my way. The most important thing throughout is to be able to work hard each and every day.

Is university or study worthwhile for your field? What about internships?
There is no real study course for what I have achieved. It was just chasing my dream and doing something each day to get closer to my goals. Six years ago, I opened my own dance studio, The Palace, as there was nowhere for our dancers to train and develop.

Your best advice for young people wanting to break into your field?
My advice for young aspiring dancers is to keep doing your studies and educate yourself. While doing that, apply all the rest of your time to dance and improving your craft. If you truly want to be a dancer then you will need to give up your social life to be all that you can be.

If you weren't doing this, what would you do?
I always would do something in the creative fields. Right now I am having fun learning how to DJ and even doing some rapping.

Resumé tips?
For a dancer it would need to be where you have learned your craft in a written resumé. For the audition, which is live, it would be to show them the passion you have for dance and your desire to book that job. You would see this in your expression of the choreography.

Three top tips for success in your industry?
1. Passion never has a day off.
2. Surround yourself with great people.
3. Dream big.

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