Debbie Allen is a graduate of Howard University in drama and classics. Allen received the Golden Globe for the Best Actress as Lydia Grant in the hit series "Fame," and is a three-time Emmy winner for Choreography for the series "Fame" and "The Motown 25th Anniversary Special." Allen has won ten NAACP IMAGE AWARDS as a director, actress, choreographer and producer for "A Different World," "Motwown 25th," "The Academy Awards," "Fame," "The Debbie Allen Special" and "Amistad."

On Broadway, Allen made her debut in "Purlie" and created the role of Beneatha in the musical "Raisin." In the 1979 definitive revival of "West Side Story," she received the prestigious Drama Desk Award, as well as her first Tony nomination. Her second Tony nomination came in 1986 for her performance in the title role of Bob Fosse's "Sweet Charity."

Allen was trained by Uta Hagen at the HB Studios in New York. Ms. Allen has worked for more than a decade as artist in residence at the Kennedy Center, collaborating with James Ingram, Arturo Sandoval, Diane Louie, Andrew "Tex" Allen and Karen Jones Meadows, creating SRO productions of "Pepito's Story," "Brothers of the Knight," "Pearl," "Soul Possessed," "Harriet's Return," "Dreams," "Dancing in the Wings" and "Alex in Wonderland." The artistic director and founder of the Debbie Allen Dance Academy in Los Angeles, Ms. Allen has had the privilege of working with Jerome Robbins, Bob Fosse, Lloyd Richards, Donald McKayle, George Faison, Derek Wolcott, Kenny Leon, Gil Cates, Kent Gash, Allan Johnson, Mike Malone, Martha Graham, Alvin Ailey, Steven Spielberg, Milos Forman and Vivian Ayers. She is mother to Vivian and Thump; wife of NBA all-star Norman Nixon; sister to Phylicia, Tex and Hugh; and daughter of Dr. A.A. Allen and Vivian Ayers.