Award-winning choreographer Parris Goebel's story is truly unique: a girl from South Auckland, with no formal dance training, drops out of high school, opens her own dance school and studio, takes on the world and wins. Now, she gets to travel the globe and create work for the likes of Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, L-Lo, Justin Bieber and Janet Jackson.
So, it would be easy to assume this could make Parris: Young Queen - The Story of a Girl Who Conquered the World a gushing "rags-to-riches" tale in which Goebel waxes lyrical about how good her life is.
This is not the case; instead, it's raw, down to earth and packed full of advice, tips and hints (Lessons from Miss P) which many young people - and some adults - would do well to read.
Here's how Goebel describes what it really means to be a BOSS:
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
"A lot of you might think that being a boss is about riding in fancy cars and making it on to VIP lists. And most of us females are obsessed with looking like a boss. Don't get me wrong - I like to look cute too, but under the lashes and the hair extensions, there's gotta be a real BOSS within. Some people might think being a boss is about the number of followers you have on social media, how much money you make or what you have over everyone else. But to me, that's not what it means to be a boss.
"To me, being a boss is about being in a position of power - and doing good with it. Empowering not only yourself, but also others. Making sacrifices and working hard to tick off your dreams. Making mistakes and, yeah, sometimes failing - but bouncing back even stronger. Being a boss is about breaking the rules and making your own rules. Being hungry and staying humble. Being a boss to me is really about being a LEADER even more than a boss. Ultimately, a BOSS is someone who is in control of their destiny."
Goebel's story might seem like a modern-day fairy-tale but what comes across is that there's been much hard work, focus, determination, family and friend support and self-belief.
Goebel writes candidly about self-esteem issues and body image, feelings of insecurity and not fitting in, and dealing with depression. It shows her rise to the top hasn't been without a misstep or two.
Parris: Young Queen - The Story of a Girl Who Conquered the World is a surprisingly good and lively read.
PARRIS: YOUNG QUEEN — THE STORY OF A GIRL WHO CONQUERED THE WORLD
by Parris Goebel with Tracy O'Connor (Mary Egan Publishing, $35)