Even if you’re not familiar with Parris Goebel, you’re likely a fan of her work. From the Savage X Fenty shows and Jennifer Lopez’s 2020 Super Bowl halftime performance, to Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” music video, Goebel is the creative mastermind behind some of the best choreography from your favorite pop stars. So it’s no surprise that Nike recently announced its partnership with Goebel to help bring dance to the spotlight of sport.
“It was so refreshing and inspiring to be approached by such a massive brand — the biggest sportswear brand in the world — and for them to say, ‘Hey, we want to celebrate and showcase dancers in a different light.’ It was a no-brainer to me,” Goebel tells NYLON over Zoom. She’s the latest face to join Nike and its efforts, alongside Megan Thee Stallion, who debuted her dance-focused campaign back in September, and Peloton instructor Tunde Oyeneyin.
Goebel’s debut with Nike includes a video and declaration for her fellow dancers. Directed by Christelle de Castro, Goebel performs to music from UNIIQU3 while reciting words of encouragement. “This is your moment,” she says. “You dance your story with the strength only you can command.”
“I was a little bit nervous, just because you work your whole life towards moments like this,” recalls Goebel about the video shoot. “I knew how big of a moment it was, not just for myself, but for dancers all around the world and dancers all throughout history. The whole team was amazing; filled with powerful and creative women. I just honestly gave it my all and left it all on the floor.”
Though Nike highlighting dance and its athletes has been a long time coming, the sport has garnered even more worldwide attention over the past two years, thanks to a little app called TikTok. Challenges, trend-worthy dances, and coming up with original choreography have all become a popular pastime (and growing passion) for its users. If you land on DanceTok long enough, old clips from Goebel’s former dance crew The Royal Family also continue to go viral.
“I think anyone using dance to express themselves or to have fun or to tell their story is a beautiful thing. And seeing kids dance on TikTok and seeing the joy that it brings them, it’s awesome,” says Goebel. “I want to celebrate dance as an art, as a craft, as a sport, and celebrating people that really dedicate their lives to mastering the art of dance, the same way that any other sports player trains to be great at what they do.”
See more of Parris Goebel for Nike in the campaign imagery, below.