Debbie Allen

(Writer, Director, Choreographer, Mrs. Washington, Rosanna)

 A BFA graduate of Howard University in Theater and Classical Greek Studies is an award-winning director/choreographer who has choreographed the Academy Awards a record ten times. She directed and choreographed for legendary artists such as Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, James Earl Jones, Phylicica Rashad, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Gwen Verdon, Lena Horne, and Sammy Davis Jr.

Ms. Allen received the Golden Globe for her role as Lydia Grant in the 1980s hit series Fame, and is a three-time Emmy Award winner in Choreography for her series Fame and the Mot-town 25th. Awarded ten Image Awards as director, actress, choreographer and producer for Fame, A Different World, Motown 25th, The Academy Awards, The Debbie Allen Special and Amistad, she has also directed the best that Network TV offers, including Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, Jane The Virgin, Empire and is currently serving as directing Executive Producer of Grey’s Anatomy.

She is daughter of Vivian Ayers and Dr. Andrew Allen, wife to NBA All-Star Norman Nixon and mother of Vivian and Thump. She dedicates this work to the life of Ms. Edna Owen Anderson a champion for the young people of our world.

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CLINTON DERRICKS

Bishop Washington

Clinton has performed on both sides of the Atlantic. His Broadway credits include I Have A Dream, Your Arms Too Short To Box With God, But Never Jam Today and Dream Girls. On television he has appeared in Sanford, Sliders, The Steve Harvey Show, Any Day Now, Hill Street Blues, Highway to Heaven and movies - Introducing Dorothy Danridge and The Ambush Murders. Whilst residing in London, he appeared in the West End productions of Grand Hotel, Five Guys Named Moe, Time, and Miss Saigon. He performs voiceovers for television and radio, and is also a noted recording artist. 

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Matthew Johnson

David, Moon

Matthew is honored to have worked with Debbie Allen since the age of 17. Most recently, he starred in the Pasadena Playhouse production of Twist: An American Musical. This triple-threat performer has studied on a full scholarship at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, created vocal arrangements for the Grammy Awards, and was a recent contestant on Fox’s The X Factor. You may have also seen Matthew on tour as a background vocalist with India Arie, Lauryn Hill and Musiq Soulchild.

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Cathie Nicholas

Asst. Director/Ensemble

Cathy is the youngest Grandaughter of Fayard Nicholas of the legendary Nicholas Brothers! She was tap dancing before she could walk. Trained by Pail and Arlene Kennedy at Universal Dance Designs, she has traveled the world as a member of Kennedy Tap Company (KTC) and with her sister Nicole as the “Nicholas Sisters.” In 2001, she was accepted to the Debbie Allen Dance Academy and trained the faculty in 2009, and has assisted Debbie Allen in numerous productions such as Twist in Atlanta and at the Pasadena Playhouse, as well as FREEZE FRAME… Stop the Madness in Brisbane, Australia. Cathie has worked with artists Mariah Carey, Miguel, Chris Brown, Michael Feinstein, Berry Gordy, Chaka Khan, and many more. She is currently the Assistant Director of the Hot Chocolate Nutcracker and co-Director alongside Jason Samuels Smith of the Los Angeles Tap Festival (LA Tap Fest). Cathie is now the Creative Director of her Tap Company Rythm n’ Shoes featuring six of the most talented teenagers on the West Coast. 

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Vivian Nixon

Eartha, Dancin Snack

Vivian is an honors graduate of Fordham University/Alvin Ailey and the Kirov Academy is thrilled to be reuniting with her DADA classmates for Freeze Frame. Her credits include: TV: Grey’s Anatomy, Road to Broadway, Power, Boardwalk Empire, the ClientList, Smash, Glee, Weeds, Eli Stone and Everybody Hates Chris. Film: Top Five, 500 Days of Summer, Louis and Bolden. Broadway: Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Memphis, and HottFeet. Tours/Regional: Brother’s of the Knight, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Twist, West Side Story, Bayou Legend, and Alvin Aileyll. Choreography: Mariah Carey’s Merriest Christmas, Jane the Virgin, Mariah Carey Live at the Rockefeller 2011, Macy’s 5th of July Fireworks Spectacular 2013, and The Client List. She is the proud Associate Artistic Director of the Debbie Allen Dance Academy.

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Ryan Phyong

Da Ni

Ryan was born December 27, 2001, in Alhambra, California. At age six he enrolled at a dance studio where he trained as a hip hop dancer for two years. At age eight, he first auditioned for the Debbie Allen Dance Academy and was accepted, and so began Ryan’s journey. Enduring three years of harsh training at the Academy taught him discipline, resilience, determination and perseverance. Ryan’s astounding drive and relentless work ethic made him one of the best little dancers Alhambra has produced. He is also a member of KIDZ CREWE.

 

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Ertha Robinson

Monique, Aunt Sally

Eartha Robinson is from New York and trained in Ballet, Modern and Jazz techniques. She attended the Fame Performing Arts High School at 14. By 16 she appeared on Broadway in The Wiz. She has worked with world-renowned choreographers, directors and producers on stage, screen and television including Wes Craven and Spike Lee. She has also worked with some of the most esteemed artists in the world, such as Angela Bassett and Whoopi Goldberg. Twelve years ago Ms. Robinson decided to dedicate herself and her art to the growth and development of young artists. Ms. Robinson would like to thank God for her gift.

 

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Dion Watson

Slick

Dion Watson began dancing at the age of 17 because of a football injury. He trained in all disciplines, but excelled in hip-hop. Early in his career, he danced for Elton John. Since then, this talented young man has been unstoppable. He shares his talent by teaching at DADA and became assistant choreographer to Ms. Allen.

Dion has worked on movies, musicals, award shows, tours, commercials, and more. He has choreographed and danced for The Black Eyed Peas, Fergie, Mariah Carey, P.Diddy, Nelly Furtado, Alicia Keys and Usher. Dion continues to share his talent around the world.

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William Wingfield.png

William Wingfield

The Collector, Jimmy

With nearly two decades of career experience, Will B. Wingfield has an esteemed record of success as a creative force in the entertainment industry. Will is a DADA full-scholarship alumni, that has graduated from Dancer to Choreographer, Writer and Creative Director; following in the footsteps of his mentor Debbie Allen.

Will has been a principal in the Tony award-winning cast of Broadway’s In the Heights a featured vocalist and dancer in Celine Dion’s award winning A New Day, an Emmy Award winning performer on the TV series So You Think You Can Dance, and most recently a performer in Superbowl 49 alongside Katy Perry. Will has been fortunate enough to train with and works for some of the most talented creators living - @TheGldnChl

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