Happy Birthday Debbie Allen!!!

Debbie Allen is a force to be reckoned with and  single-handedly is the reason I chose to attend Howard University.  Once I arrived at Howard University, professors consistently told me how much I reminded them of this legendary entertainer.  It goes without saying that I was beyond thrilled, humbled and knew I had much to aspire to.

Needless to say, when the opportunity rolled around where I got to be directed by Ms. Allen, I seriously thought I would lose my mind!  Working with her I discovered, Debbie Allen is as tough as she is smart.  She does not suffer fools gladly and knows how to foster talent grabbing the best out of you when you don’t even know what your best is.  More importantly,  she has taken her talent as a dancer, singer, actress and turned it into a thriving career behind the camera.

In addition to being fiercely loyal and having a heart of gold, Debbie Allen is living proof that a career doesn’t have to fade into the sunset at a certain age.  She is in demand now more than ever and shows no signs of slowing down.

The Debbie Allen Dance Academy is a highly respected dance studio in the Los Angeles area and their production of The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker is a holiday favorite.

HCNutcrackerraven and debbie

Born as Deborrah Kaye Allen in Houston, Texas,  she is best known for her Emmy nominated role as Lydia Grant in the hit film and television series “Fame”.  Her Broadway debut was in the chorus of “Purlie”, which ultimately led to her roles in the Tony nominated musical “Raisin”.  Other Tony Award noms came for her starring roles in the revivals of West Side Story (Anita) and Sweet Charity (Charity).  As a director/producer, Debbie turned around ratings for the NBC sitcom “A Different World”, produced and directed her sister, Phylicia Rashad and James Earl Jones on Broadway in  “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”  and is the only director to have helmed the Shonda Rhimes trifecta of Scandal, How To Get Away With Murder and Grey’s Anatomy (where she also recurs as Dr. Avery).

DA-FAmeDA-Sweet CharityRhimes and Allen

Nowadays, in addition to her directing duties, she juggles being a wife to former NBA star Norm Nixon and mother to her children Vivian and Norm Jr.

What’s next for Debbie Allen?  Who knows, but I for one can’t wait to see what her next chapter holds…

Happy Birthday Miss Debbie!!!

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