The 5 Secrets of Marko Panzic:

One of the most publicly influential figures in the Australian dance climate.

Brady Kitchingham
Jul 6, 2018 · 7 min read

Marko Panzic is an enigma. As a Perth native whose blood and sweat has come up pay dirt in Sydney’s prolific scene and now has him seemingly calling the shots within it, one cannot help but be impressed by the sheer magnitude of projects he seems to effortlessly take on.
His bio has grown to resemble a novella in recent years:

“He has provided choreography for The Voice Australia, The Voice Kids Australia, Australia’s Got Talent, Australia’s Next Top Model, EUROVISION 2014, ABC3 Launch, Logie award winning TV Show “Dance Academy” series 1, 2 & 3 ABC, X Factor Australia, AACTA Awards 2016, Junior Eurovision 2015, Napoleon Perdis Cosmetics, Rimmel Cosmetics, Eurovision SBS special 2010, Australian Idol TVC, Samsung TVC, Australian Dance Awards, So You Think You Can Dance Australia, Saturday Disney, Sunrise, The Morning Show, AFL Footy Show, NRL Footy Show, Australia’s Funniest Home Video’s, Young Talent Time, Cleo Bachelor Of The Year Awards, Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards, Covergirl Australia, Optus Launch, Volvo V40 Launch. Cosmopolitan Of The Year Awards, Who Magazine, Sony Music Australia.”

… mind you, that is one of (roughly) ten paragraphs.

I had the pleasure of taking Marko’s ‘Show|Business’ course in 2017, and while I came to learn a great deal from the program, I also learned more from being around the man himself. There are things you can only learn from a person through proximity.

With that in mind, the following is a distillation of the five “secrets” that I believe make Marko such a well positioned leader in the industry.

Marko Panzic. Photo by Jake Percey.

1. He’s a Connection Machine

When Marko meets someone, he is as respectful and polite as any professional dancer would be. Call it common courtesy, but as he gets to know you, he will usually find a way to connect you with someone and put you in a place to provide value, which in turn, reflects well on him in the process.

Connections are valuable resources.

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen people at his events and workshops propelled into the spotlight because Marko has noticed their talent. The next thing you know, they’re teaching at The Australian Dance Festival or starring in the next Jess Mauboy music video.

Talent farming like this is always good for the industry. As more talent rises to the top, dance studio and event operators are more than happy to take someone onboard whom Marko has given his seal of approval. This creates a culture of reciprocity in the dance space. He is always fostering connections between people of value.

2. Emperor/Curator Archetype

In the Sydney commercial dance scene, there are people establishing their brands and personas so that they can make a living from their hard work. Often when we think about brand, we think of how we would like to be seen and how to establish consistency within that parameter.

Marko doesn’t just project an image of how he would like to be seen. Instead, he amplifies who he naturally is and accentuates this persona; a big distinction from people who are trying to perfectly package themselves.

He has always had a natural knack of getting people excited about what he is doing (more on this in item №4), but while people attempt to look like the cutting edge of the industry, pound for pound, Marko is creating the most “stuff”. This gives him a unique opportunity to enact his brand archetype.

If you put 12 people on a desert island to await rescue and somehow monitored their behaviour, studies have shown that each person would subconsciously fall neatly into individual “types” in order to increase the likelihood of survival. These types are often referred to as archetypes.

Brand Archetype is a positioning tool that changes based on what already exists within the industry. These days Marko is what we call the Emperor/Ruler archetype, but as mentioned above with his ability to promote connections, he is also a curator of sorts.

Power is in knowing your archetype and having an understanding of how to continue developing it over time.

3. Finger on the Pulse

This one is simple.

He knows what is happening with his plans on the micro level and he’s also quite adapt at stepping back and seeing the big picture trends in the dance scene. Whether it’s getting the Ziegler girls over for an Australian tour, knowing that their fanbase will do anything to meet them and watch them perform, or casting the next big up-and-comers in The Dream Dance Company’s next production.

He knows where the value is. He’s well informed, which helps him understand his audience intimately in order to better provide the experiences they will pay for.

Show|Business cast at NIDA, 2018.

4. Reality Distortion Field

When people are around Marko, they just feel positive.

Marko has one of the greatest gifts for someone in his field. He can make people feel good. He is as charismatic as he is knowledgeable and that makes for a deadly mix.

It’s called a Reality Distortion Field and the term was first coined in relation to Steve Jobs at Apple Computer.
Jobs apparently had the ability to convince himself and others to believe almost anything with a mix of charm, charisma, bravado, hyperbole, marketing, appeasement and persistence.

I’ve watched him make people believe in themselves more than they ever thought possible. As a result, those people, some of whom I’ve worked with, have aimed high and achieved real results in their lives. He even gives me a jolt of dopamine when I’m discussing my plans with him.

He makes you believe.
If you have that skill, you can get people to see the worth in themselves that they are overlooking, and you also have the power to amass an army for whatever means you deem necessary. Use this gift wisely.

5. Trading Opportunities for Notoriety

I believe that dancers have a period of their respective careers that they go to where they maybe do a full time dance course and then work as much as possible.
There’s usually a second phase in the dancer career where some pivot to opening a dance studio as their body slows down, or doubling down on their training to become a big name and a workhorse.

Marko is in the third stage now; he is creating an empire.

To market an empire and help it spread, you need word of mouth to be generated as much as possible and simultaneously you need to make what you are creating to be inherently remarkable. You need to have the fire in the first place, and you have to make sure it spreads.

One of the ways Marko does this is by providing great opportunities to dancers. He works to make sure these opportunities are adding to dancers’ experience, skill level, networking ability and usually, their wallet thickness.

Creating products that provide concrete value that you can feel, touch, hold in your hand or point to, is always a great idea in terms of business. Those who have directly benefitted from your message will carry your message onward, allowing you to engage with more people and change lives.

6. Time

What’s that? An extra secret? Yes.

Don’t forget that Marko’s journey, like all success stories on Earth, have taken time. He hasn’t always been the person you see now. We’ve all had our formative years and some of us are still going through them.

Be patient and keep going.

Takeaways:

  1. Make more connections!
    You should have an old school address book that you use to keep people’s names in. Always look for ways to put valuable people in touch with valuable businesses. They may return the favour one day.
  2. Know Your Archetype
    Do some more reading on the subject (google!) and refer to the chart above to find the archetype that resonates most with you. Ask five friends which one of the 12 archetypes you fit into.
  3. How well do you know the industry?
    Find ways to talk to more of your teachers about the industry and get connected. Join a group that discusses dance topics. Follow a blog (Maybe this one!) or listen to a podcast, like this one! Do whatever it takes to be as informed as possible.
  4. How do you win friends and influence people?
    Read ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie.
    Seriously, this book is essential for social and networking skills. I wish I had read it ten years ago!
  5. Always to provide value.
    If you’re planning to enter any industry, you should always make your transactions provide value for your customer/consumer. You will be more likely to be talked about and people will trust you when you come asking for big favours or pitching bigger opportunities.

I hope you found something in this story that helps you, no matter what you’re going through. Feel free to hit the ‘clap’ button so more people see it.

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Brady Kitchingham

Written by

Creator of The Blackguard, dancer, actor, and writer. I teach young dancers how to build their own bodies of work. You can find me on Instagram @bradykitch.

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