The Los Angeles-based private school provides a half-day of academics, with performance-based classes, such as ballet, acting, and vocal arts, offered in the afternoon. The school currently teaches sixth and seventh grade and will extend to eighth grade starting in the 2023-2024 school year.
The school is located on the same campus as the Debbie Allen Dance Academy, which has been teaching young dancers since 2001.
“I grew up in Houston, Texas, at a time where I couldn’t go to dance class because I was Black,” the "Grey's Anatomy" star said. “I know what the arts and education can do for a young person. It’s what helped me get through all that civil rights down in Texas when it was really bad.
“I was 10 years old and I knew I wanted to dance and be in theater and movies,” the award-winning artist told JHud. “If young people could be developed with their education — academics and the arts — the arts would raise their academic achievement.”
“The Debbie Allen Middle School academic program will have the foundation for students to have a superior and quality arts education experience in dance and the theatre arts,” states the school’s website. “The academic program is designed to provide a challenging, rigorous, and exciting curriculum that will propel students to excel and be successful at the high school level.”
“We’re really servicing the community,” she continued. “It’s an oasis. I’m really excited about the middle school being the center of this place.”