Auckland dancer and choreographer Parris Goebel is a household name after creating dance routines for Justin Bieber, Rihanna and J.Lo. She runs The Palace Dance Studio in Penrose, Auckland; training up hip hop dancers for greatness. But now she’s making headlines for the workshops she’s started running with her sisters Kendal and Narelle, that help empower young women.
The trio’s movement is called ‘Sisters United’, and they hold fortnightly workshops for young females to attend. By getting members to dance together and do creative arts, they’re building a strong community and an accepting environment for attendees to grow their confidence.
Noted has written a piece about the workshops, after their journalist attended a session where the girls were, “dancing in front of the studio mirrors... it’s obvious that they’re not preparing for a competition or championship trophy. They’re part of something much bigger... Some of the young participants joined Sisters United through a referral from a social worker, and the rest voluntarily nominated themselves. By joining Sisters United, they are all encouraged to participate in activities such as music, dance, spoken word and photography – exercises that are the Goebel sisters’ creative skills combined.”
Kendal Goebel explained in the article, “We need to really change how we interact with our young people. I think we’re really unique because we bring in all these creative arts and it really teaches them to express themselves in different ways other than just talking. I hope that young women would feel a bit more confident about going to chase their dreams, about standing up for what they believe in – but also we hope that they become proud of who they are.”
15 year old member Jessica Jerry explained, “I was bullied throughout primary school. They bullied me because of my appearance… I became really shy and didn’t want to talk to people because I was afraid that they would judge me. When I first joined Sisters United, girls just came up to me, said hello and started talking to me. I’ve never had that happen before. At Sisters United I feel like I’m part of a family. I feel loved and appreciated.”
The full Noted article features 10 of the girls who attend Sisters United, and it’s inspiring stuff to hear how their lives have been transformed. Nice one, Goebel girls. Read the full piece here.