#TJGWHM18 Debbie Allen: Choreographer, Actress, and Howard University Grad

Debbie Allen is an African-American choreographer, director, author and actress. Since she was a child, Allen has always had a love for dancing and acting. She received a degree in drama from Howard University, where she graduated Cum Laude.

Allen got her first big break starring in the Broadway show, West Side Story, in 1980. She has since starred in a variety of Broadway and television shows, including “In the House” (1995-99) and “Grey’s Anatomy” (2005-13).

When she stepped behind the camera to direct for “A Different World”, the spin off of “The Cosby Show”, the show’s ratings increased drastically. Since then, her directing and producing credits include “FAME”, “Scandal”, “How to Get Away with Murder”, “Empire”, “Everybody Hates Chris”, and “That’s So Raven”.

Debbie Allen has won many awards including three Emmy awards for choreography, five NAACP awards, a Golden Globe award, an Astaire award, an Olivier award, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  She received the Lifetime Achievement Award from American Women in Radio and Television.

In 2001, Allen opened the Debbie Allen Dance Academy in Los Angeles. The nonprofit dance school offers comprehensive dance courses for ages 4 to 18.

Today, we honor the choreography legend, Debbie Allen.


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