Parris Goebel on the Pursuit of Art and Fulfilling Her Star Choreographer Destiny
A look back at the dancer’s creative journey as she takes the Super Bowl halftime stage with Jennifer Lopez.
Brilliant, technically skilled dancers are plentiful, but only a few, like Parris Goebel, are true visionaries who have the innate ability to turn movements into art and pure emotion. A choreographer with an unmatched talent for translating rhythm and melodies into visual spectacles, the New Zealand-born dance royalty has worked with some of the biggest names in the music industry, including Jennifer Lopez on her first world tour in 2012, Justin Bieber on his viral “Sorry” music video, and more recently, Rihanna on her game-changing Savage X Fenty show.
Determined to pursue a career in dance, Goebel dropped out of school when she was 15 years old and, not long after, formed the hip-hop dance group ReQuest with four of her friends. “I feel like I was in a limbo for a long time. I was just like, ‘how do I do this? what are the steps?” she reflected during our interview. “And then that’s when YouTube came around. In hindsight, it saved me. It was a platform for me to express myself.”
“I just thought it was amazing that I could be in Auckland, New Zealand, and that I could post a two-minute video of something I created with my girls, and people all over the world could see it,” Goebel added.
The ambitious, self-taught dancer would go on to open her own studio, The Palace Dance Studio, in 2009. In addition to ReQuest, the studio has birthed some of the top dance crews in the game, including multi-time World Hip-Hop Dance Champion The Royal Family.
A full-circle moment for Goebel, she’s tapped by J. Lo to choreograph her Super Bowl halftime show routine, with members of The Royal Family taking the stage in Miami Sunday evening. Ahead of the highly anticipated performance, HYPEBAE sat down with the artist to discuss her creative process and her deep passion for dance — watch the video above.
- Rosanna Peng
- Jacob Pereira
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- Teresa Lam