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Hip hop credits offered at Parris Goebel's dance studio

The Palace Dance Studio has become NZQA approved and is now qualified to give NCEA credits for a range of dance-related assessments.

Founded by award-winning international choreographer Parris Goebel, the Auckland dance studio has partnered with the Tertiary Education Commission to provide more vocational pathways for young aspiring dancers.

Academic manager Beth Collings says it's a huge step for the studio and its vision of developing the next generation of dancers.

"They will basically study nutrition, stretching, choreography, music mixing and costume design as well. We're trying to give them a taste of what's out there and that it's not just about the dancing. There's actually some wider wrap-around skills that come with it." 

The 10-day course will provide level 2 and 3 credits to full-time secondary school students who have applied through their school's Gateway or Secondary Tertiary Alignment Resource (STAR) programmes.

Teaming up with the Tertiary Education Commission means the course valued at $500 per person will be free for Gateway or STAR students. 

Collings says the course is already attracting schools nationwide.

"The interest has been unbelievable. I focus mainly on schools from South Auckland, North Shore, central, west and east Auckland at the moment, but I'm already getting queries from all over the country."

Goebel's growing influence and success on the international stage is having a huge impact on young dancers wanting to pursue dance professionally. 

Parris Goebel and fellow Request dancers. Photo/ Parris Goebel.

Collings says the education sector sees that and is working with The Palace Dance Studio to ensure students get those opportunities.

"The support we've had from NZQA... really seeing that there's value in the programme. They could see how it's not just about the dancing. It's about the industry and giving the kids skills that they could utilise in other areas."

Collings says she's honoured to be apart of the Goebel family's legacy that all started with Parris' love for hip-hop. 

"I've known the family for a long time but to see that awareness Parris has about giving back. She saw it as a vehicle to build self-esteem and she's realising that by reaching out to young Pasifika and Maori in particular, hip-hop could be that vehicle that will help build confidence and give them skills that they could use and transfer to other areas."

"The dance studio was just the beginning of that so the fact that we're branching in to NZQA qualifications is just brilliant."

The Palace Dance Studio will register its first intake on October 1 and aim for a second intake in Term 4 before the end of the school year.