The world is full of amazing dancers and choreographers, but none are quite like Ms. Parris Goebel. As the crown jewel of the Palace Dance Studio in New Zealand, she’s become one of the biggest names in hip hop today. Her choreographic talents have been used by superstars like Janet Jackson, Justin Bieber, Jennifer Lopez, and Rihanna.
Parris’ eclectic style of hip hop (which she’s titled “Polyswagg”) incorporates elements of her polynesian culture, dancehall, voguing, and much more. The cleanliness of her pieces speaks not only to the way she creates, but also the way she teaches her students. The Palace has a “supportive, smoke-free, alcohol-free, no swearing, no arrogance, and friendly environment” where students work hard to achieve incredible results. Just take a look at this piece featuring her Royal Family dance crew from the 2015 World Hip Hop Championships:
If you want it done right, do it yourself! Parris has a hand in mixing all of the music she uses for her dance crew, and the result is a spectacularly synergized expression of movement and sound. When you know your music that well, it’s easier to find the nuanced beats and rhythms that other people might miss, and that’s exactly what she does. Her mixes often include island influences like dancehall and soca, as well as old school RnB, fresh and feminine beats, and even kpop (korean pop)!
The costumes worn by Parris’ dancers are quite unique. The silhouettes, patterns, and fabrics she uses are different from the standard that other studios and dance crews wear. Typically, hip hop dancers will wear huge, oversized clothing that can look cool, but often ends up hiding a lot of movement and can look sloppy onstage. Parris’ looks often feature a form-fitting base with a structural element overtop to highlight movement and give dancers a visual “cool factor”.
Videos and the Internet
Ms. Goebel states that the internet has had a massive impact on her career. Being from a relatively secluded part of the world, this New Zealander has allowed the internet to bring her to people across the globe. One of Parris’ first viral videos was of choreography she did for the song Mek it Bunx Up by DeeWunn. Since then, videos of her choreography and performances by the Royal Family have received over 4 billion views worldwide. One of her most famous pieces of choreography was done for the Sorry music video by Justin Bieber (which she also directed, edited, and won “best video of the year” for at the AMAs). She then went on to direct and choreograph all 13 videos that Justin released for that album. Parris has also choreographed for massive korean pop stars (and groups,) like CL, 2NE1, and Taeyang, whose music videos rack up hundreds of millions of views apiece.
After being chief choreographer and dancer for Jennifer Lopez’ world tour in 2012, Parris went on to choreograph award show performances again with Jennifer Lopez (American Music Awards 2015), Rihanna (Grammys 2018), and Ariana Grande (American Music Awards 2016), among many others.
Royal Family Dance Crew
Parris’ Royal Family Dance Crew have taken gold at the Hip Hop International competition 3 times, appeared on America’s Best Dance Crew, and toured around the globe. Their videos online have millions of views and have received extremely high accolades. Check them out!
All in all, Parris has done some incredible things for her studio and the art of dance itself. We’re proud to celebrate those who are breaking new ground and elevating the art of dance to new heights, and we can’t wait to see where Parris Goebel goes from here.