Actress, dancer and choreographer Debbie Allen is the personification of busy and engaged.
Luctrica A. Lewis
Special to the Tri-State Defender
Actress, dancer and choreographer Debbie Allen is the personification of busy and engaged. Last Thursday night (Feb. 23), Allen’s energy and resolve were on display at the University of Memphis during “An Evening with Debbie Allen.”
Superstar Debbie Allen is in good company with the U of M Dance Team. (Photo by Tyrone P. Easley)
Allen, who rocketed to stardom in 1980 in the Broadway revival of “West Side Story,” shared her testimonial of facing hardships and tough times in her life. It was part of the U of M’s celebration of African-American History Month, which focused on the theme, “Black Women in American History: Passionate, Powerful, and Proud.”
“When you find your purpose, you find your way to really live life,” Allen said.
“I am so happy with who I am, I’m happy with what I do. I don’t have enough hours in the day, but it’s a joy to be here with you, to share this time, and hopefully give you a little piece of myself.”
Allen said she was hopeful that those in attendance at the Rose Theatre would “see a part of you reflecting in me that will give you the strength to be.”
Linda Hall, the U of M’s Multicultural Affairs coordinator, said, “There has been so much buzzing around campus after Debbie Allen’s speech.”
The U of M Dance Team rendered a dance tribute to Allen. Clearly impressed, Allen decided to offer two U of M students scholarships to her studio in Los Angeles.
“Overall, we hope to educate the Memphis community through the contributions of black and overall American History, said Hall.”