Debbie Allen is an icon, period. Now, she’s finally being honored like the true queen she is. Shonda Rhimes’ Shondaland is set to release their very first dance documentary on Allen titled, Dance Dreams: The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker, and we honestly can’t wait to get our hands on such greatness.
The film will highlight some of Allen’s own hurdles as a Black woman in the dance industry while shining light on those who haven’t seen themselves reflected in the same community. In a recent interview with People, Allen opened up about the moment she learned the rejection she could face in the dance world based on her size. She recalled an audition with the Houston Ballet Foundation that left her discouraged. “I got to my audition [group] and they used me to demonstrate. And then when it was over, I was excited. I wanted to know when I would start. And the man told me I was not going to be accepted because my body type wasn’t right. That was just devastating.” Fortunately, Allen landed at Howard University where she would be discovered by Mike Malone.
“[He] saw me at a party doing a double or triple turn, and pulled me out of the party and put me back where I belonged at the dance barre working with his company,” she said.
The Dance Dreams: The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker documentary is also set to touch on many aspects of Ms. Allen’s life such as family, inclusivity and body positivity. The film will feature Debbie’s daughter, Vivian Nixon, who was a huge part of Debbie’s decision to open DADA due to her own experience with the dance community as a child. The film will also touch on how Debbie’s son, Norman Nixon Jr., was the inspiration for the upcoming “Hot Chocolate Nutcracker” performance. And finally, the documentary will show how Debbie and her husband, Norm Nixon, are a true power couple.
The documentary is set to begin streaming on Netflix on November 27 and will take viewers through a behind-the-scenes journey on Debbie’s legendary career. The documentary will also follow her DADA dance as they begin rehearsals for the upcoming performance: a classic twist on the classic ballet, The Nutcracker.
Aside from being all of the above, Allen has been the recipient of multiple Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Most notable for her work in the 1980s musical drama, Fame, her entertaining career spans for more than five decades where she’s has her hands in many of our culture’s most iconic series from A Different World to Grey’s Anatomy. The Debbie Allen Dance Academy (DADA) is a mecca for young performers of all backgrounds, races, body types and ethnicities. Through DADA, she’s given opportunity to diverse groups of dancers who otherwise may not have had a chance due to the lack of representation in the industry.