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Remember the Ladies: Debbie Allen

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Allen in 1983

Allen in 1983

Deborrah Kaye “Debbie” Allen (born January 16, 1950) is an American actress, dancer, choreographer, television director, television producer, and a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. She is perhaps best known for her work on the 1982 musical-drama television series Fame, where she portrayed dance teacher Lydia Grant, and served as the series’ principal choreographer. She plays Catherine Avery on Grey’s Anatomy. She is the younger sister of actress/director/singer Phylicia Rashad. (Wikipedia)

In a career that spans three decades, the name Debbie Allen is synonymous with dynamic energy, creative talent and innovation. For her vast body of work, Ms. Allen has earned three Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe, five NAACP Image Awards, a Drama Desk, an Astaire Award (for Best Dancer), and the Olivier Award. She holds four honorary Doctorate degrees and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She was appointed by President George W. Bush to represent the United States as a Cultural Ambassador of Dance.

“In places around the world where we do not speak the same language, or even understand that we pray to the same God, we dance to the same beat, that is “the one”.

Debbie Allen isn’t your typical dancer.

Debbie Allen isn’t your typical dancer.

She has been artist in residence at the Kennedy Center for over 15 years, creating original works with the legendary Arturo Sandoval and James Ingram, such as: Pepito’s Story, Brothers of the Knight, Dreams, Alex in Wonderland, Soul Possessed, Pearl, Dancing in the Wings and Oman O Man. Her long list of directing and producing credits include television classics such as FAME, Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How To Get Away With Murder, Jane the Virgin, Empire, A Different World, Everybody Hates Chris, Stompin’ At The Savoy, Polly, That’s So Raven, Cool Women, Quantum Leap, The Fantasia Barrino Story, and on stage, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. She was most recently named an Executive Producer on Grey’s Anatomy for Season 12 of the program, where she will remain a frequent director and recurring actress. (Debbie Allen Dance Academy)

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