“My philosophy for this year’s festival is all about inspiration, inspiring every dancer that walks through the door to follow their dreams. We want to inspire the future generation of dancers,” says Marko Panzic, artistic director of the Australian Dance Festival. “I feel people always expect this festival is only for dancers. I truly believe this is a great event for anyone who loves arts and entertainment.” [fold]

The weekend schedule is packed with dance workshops made for all skill levels and open to all ages. There’s certainly something for anyone, with genres such as hip-hop, tap, street Latin, lyrical and Bollywood all taking pride of place and tickets including up to five sessions each day. Says Panzic: “Our showcase performances are choreographed by some of the best choreographers in this country and choreographers that are recognised internationally. Also our Australia's Best Dance Crew and Dance Around The World solo competition have the best dance studios from all around Australia.”

Cross-genre showcases and competitions mean that this isn’t a niche festival, but an all-inclusive one – important in the overall process of solidifying the established and emerging Australian dance community, something Panzic is deeply passionate about. “By having this event, we are keeping our industry in Australia strong for the future. [We just] keep growing and growing and I love that every year it is completely different, this is what keeps the festival unique.”

Panzic is hard-pressed to list a single highlight, but notes that he’s excited for Parris Goebel’s choreography for the hip-hop dance crew ReQuest concert which closes the festival. “Also, I am very excited about how many interstate dance schools are coming to Sydney for the event, I love how this event celebrates dance in this country and brings a whole industry together in one place.”

Panzic keeps a little something up his sleeve however: “There is also one more secret that I am personally very, very excited about! You will have to wait and see…”

Australian Dance Festival
September 13–15
Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre