Life lessons: Parris Goebel

Parris Goebel, captain and choreographer of the all-women dance crew, ReQuest. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Parris Goebel, captain and choreographer of the all-women dance crew, ReQuest. Photo / Sarah Ivey

I believe in dreaming big and being self-motivated. But you also have to surround yourself with good people who will support you no matter what you want to achieve. You also have to understand that rejection can be a good thing.

If you are used to success you need to find a way to look at rejection positively. Just go away, do everything to improve, then return, try again and succeed.

Learning to think that way has taught me not to hold grudges, because in the end everything is down to your own determination. I was the youngest person to make the 2008 Monsters of Hip-Hop cast in the States but [our dance team] ReQuest placed sixth in New Zealand and didn't make it. That only made me more determined to get my crew to the Worlds. It pushed us to grow, learn and gain more of an X factor.

My parents are huge for me. I think I'm a female version of my dad. I never seem able to cook like my mum or ever clean my room how she wants.

Outside of my family I get support from my church, which has given me the standards and morals I try to live my life by. It was my church that encouraged me to share the talents that I have been blessed with.

The other person I most admire is Oprah Winfrey. She has been able to change people's mindsets all around the world and does her best to impart knowledge and learning to anyone who will listen. She inspires them to live life as best they can.

I constantly hear how hard it is for people to find a job so I'd love to be able to use a little of Oprah's magic to make an easier path for people who want to work and help them find the right job.

The ultimate job for me would be to continue teaching while dancing for artists like Missy Elliot, Beyonce and Lady Gaga.

When I look back in 30 years I'll always remember winning the world championship and ReQuest becoming full-time dancers. They are living the dream each day. And I know I said about grudges, but I'll also remember the lack of recognition and support from the local hip-hop dance community who don't attend our fundraisers, events or classes. No one even showed at the airport when we returned from the Worlds.

Parris Goebel's all-women dance crew, ReQuest, won this year's World Hip-hop Dance Championship in Las Vegas.

- NZ Herald

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