10 minutes from the Paris Opera, a center for culture and choreography, concentrating entirely on dance, opened its doors in May 1998. Founded and directed by Rick Odums, international dancer, choreographer, and teacher, the center’s primary purpose is to train young artists in the values of excellence and authenticity, as well as the openness and spreading of cultures. A place of meeting open to a large public of professionals and amateurs, it offers a place for creating, developing, and experiencing dance.
With its training and international team of teachers, the special relationship between the Centre and other dance organizations such as the AAADC, Martha Graham’s School of Contemporary Dance, Vortex Dance Center in Moscow and various other institutions, the Centers Professional School is a well-known place for professional dance education for future teachers and performers is recognized and accredited by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, of Education, Higher Education and Research. With 8 studios and places of life and exchange, the Centre allows the individual to share a unique dance experience in an urban International environment that combines relaxation and friendliness with an intensive, enthusiastic and concentrated practice.
“To Dance is To Live”
People often ask me why I created this structure: I think quite simply that the answer lies in my own personal history and all of the marvelous things that the art of dance has given me since the first time I entered a school. That day, I not only discovered a world that was completely unknown to me, but I met the person who would be my first mentor and guide, Patsy Swayze. Why mentor? Without a doubt because she did not merely introduce me to dance and its practice, but she lit a passion that I didn’t know I had inside of me.
This began with a simple phrase that could be found anywhere in the school, from the classroom to the lobby; the dressing rooms, her posters, brochures, programs for performances, even in the bathrooms: “To Dance is To Live”. This simple phrase gave me the desire and the determination to develop this unknown talent that I possessed. Through her teaching and investment, combined with a growing passion for its transmission and creation, the belief that everyone has the right to a cultural and artistic education, and that through this activity, this form of communication, we can, as artists, help change and improve the world around us.
In my culture, we have a saying: “ To Whom God Has Given Much, We Expect A Lot”. Since that first day, this unique art form and the world surrounding it continues to fascinates me, inspires me and brings me great joy. I imagine that I am required to give back and share that which has been generally and freely been been to me. Therefore, my goal has been to create a place where amateurs and professionals can come together to learn, share, promote, create, and live dance in a free, friendly, fraternal, energetic, and passionate environment. A place conducive to sharing, learning, dreaming, constructing, creating, and above all, partaking of and sharing the different cultures that surround us.
Rick Odums, Director