Dancer Candy Lane says her reaction to being given the Queen's Service Medal was disbelief.
"I had to read it over and over again. Then I laughed and cried and felt very humbled."
Ms Lane, who has lectured, competed, performed and judged at world-class level, said it was a wonderful feeling to be acknowledged publicly.
Being awarded the medal for services to dance had made her children, husband and mother proud, she said.
"I only wish my father was here, as along with my mother he has always supported my dance career. But I know he's smiling."
Best known for her presenting role in TVNZ's Dancing with the Stars, Ms Lane has also choreographed New Zealand's Got Talent, The Singing Bee, and Stars in their Eyes.
She said her work on Dancing with the Stars allowed many of her friends to see what she did for the first time.
She first represented NZ in dance at the age of 10, and at 14 was the youngest competitor to win the New Zealand Amateur titles.
She went to London as a 15-year-old to train, and danced on the world circuit for 10 years, performing lead roles in the West End, including Royal Variety Shows.
"I was very proud to be promoting dance in New Zealand and I continue to do this with my international judging invitations, demonstrations and TV work," she said.
"I have made life-time friends in dance; we are one big family," she said.
Through her Mt Eden studio, she now teaches dance to students of all ages, and has created the Kiwi Classic International Dance Event, an annual showcase of up-and-coming dancers.
This year's event will be in Auckland in April.
"We invite couples from all over the world to compete and the public can come and see a huge selection of dance styles under one glamorous roof," she said.
Queen's Service Medal, for services to dance.