Parris Goebel, award-winning choreographer, on why her New Zealand Order of Merit was so unexpected

Award-winning choreographer and dancer Parris Goebel has become a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to dance. 

Goebel is the leader of the Royal Family Dance Crew, who have won the World Hip Hop Dance Championships three times. 

She has also worked with famous artists such as Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Jennifer Lopez.

Goebel told RNZ the award was unexpected as dance is often passed over.

"We'd hear of different people getting it as I was growing up, but I never imagined myself getting it if I'm honest," she said.

"I guess just being in the dance industry…sometimes there's a lot of stigma around that."

She says the message behind her success is to work hard.

"It doesn't matter if you're from little old New Zealand - if you work hard, enough anything is possible."