The Face Behind Rihanna’s Halftime Show: Parris Goebel Celebrated for her Outstanding Choreography

by Riley Coyne '24 on March 6, 2023
A&E Staff

Arts & Entertainment

Prior to the Kansas City Chiefs’ win in Super Bowl LVII, Rihanna gave a phenomenal halftime show performance, which was her first public performance in years. Prior to the game, many joked that Rihanna was the main event of the night rather than the football game.

Famous model and actress Cara Delevingne attended the Super Bowl in Arizona and wore a t-shirt that joked, “Rihanna concert interrupted by a football game. Weird but whatever.” Fans were thrilled to see Rihanna finally take the stage again, but they were even more excited when she revealed her special guest of the night: her baby bump. After the show, her team confirmed that she was in fact expecting her second child with A$AP Rocky. Rihanna was accompanied by hundreds of dancers dressed in white puffer jackets. The show-stopping choreography left many curious and questioning: Who was the mastermind behind this performance?

Rihanna’s Apple Music halftime show has sparked a wave of conversation on social media, particularly from those who danced alongside her in Arizona. Dancers took to TikTok to reminisce on being a part of such a great experience and to give credit to their choreographer.

The very talented Parris Goebel was behind the dance choreography for this year’s halftime show. The 31-year-old New Zealand native is a jack of all trades. Goebel is a professional choreographer, dancer, singer, actress, and author. Goebel has even said in the past that she doesn’t want to be called just a choreographer and previously stated in an interview: “I’m so much more than a dancer or choreographer. I am an artist. I am a free spirit. I am a creative. I am a muse. I didn’t choose this life; I was born this way.”

Growing up she was inspired by artists like Missy Elliot and Prince, and taught herself how to dance by watching and mimicking the moves in music videos. As she gained popularity on the internet, Goebel dropped out of school at age 15 to pursue her dream of dance full time.

Despite her many talents, she is best known for her hip-hop studio:  The Palace Dance Studio. World-renowned dance crew The Royal Family is based out of this studio and have gone on to win countless championships as well as dance for many celebrities. Having worked with Rihanna before, Goebel was basically a shoo-in for the choreographer position, especially since she has experience managing such large groups of dancers. In 2015, Goebel choreographed and took part in Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” music video. What’s not surprising is that this is not Goebel’s first time choreographing a halftime show. In 2020, Goebel was a co-choreographer of Jennifer Lopez and Shakira’s Super Bowl halftime show.

Considering all of her accomplishments, it is obvious that Goebel has had an extremely successful career thus far. From opening her own dance studio to writing an autobiography and becoming an Emmy award winner for Outstanding Choreography, Goebel has made a name for herself in an incredibly competitive industry. Who knows, maybe we will see her choreograph another Super Bowl halftime show next year!