Debbie Allen continues to blaze a trail in Hollywood.
The celebrated actress, choreographer and television director has been a household name since 1980, with her breakout role in the Oscar-winning film Fame.
Since then, she has appeared both on screen, stage and in the director's chair. She's choreographed the dance routines for multiple Academy Awards, and is a sought after television director, having helmed episodes of Grey's Anatomy, Jane the Virgin and Scandal, just to name a few.
At 68, Allen said she refuses to slow down.
"I have lost so many friends to AIDS and some to gun violence and some to just natural causes. I am so happy that I am alive every day," Allen told Spectrum News 1 anchor Giselle Fernandez in an interview for LA Stories.
Allen also said she isn't afraid of aging.
"I'm not tripping about it," she quipped.
After years in the spotlight, the Golden Globe winner’s current mission is to use dance to help children build the discipline, confidence and excellence they need to overcome challenges and build their dreams with her Baldwin Hills-based Debbie Allen Dance Academy.
The dance school is currently preparing to stage its annual holiday production of Hot Chocolate Nutcracker. While it may sound like fun, Allen makes it clear, she demands excellence from her young students.
“I know what it means to these kids,” Allen said. "I know what it meant to me as a kid … It helped me pull up and I want these kids to have this opportunity.”
Hot Chocolate Nutcracker will be on stage at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center from December 6-9.