Friday, May 20, 2022

Detroit’s Carr Center Welcomes Back Golden Globe and Emmy Award-Winning Dancer-Actress-Director Debbie Allen to Lead Dance Academy Intensive

Debbie Allen (Courtesy of The Carr Center)

Oliver Ragsdale, Jr., President and CEO of the Carr Center, the legacy Black arts presenter located in the heart of Detroit’s downtown cultural district, today announces that multi-award-winning dancer, choreographer, actor, and director Debbie Allen will once again oversee The Carr’s Summer Dance Intensive program for a fourth year.

Under the direction of Allen, Rasta Thomas will return as the Director of the Summer Intensive and will conduct dance auditions on Sunday, May 15, 2022, from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., at the Detroit School of Arts, 123 Selden Street. For more information and the fee to audition, please click here. From the auditions, participants will be chosen for the prestigious program, which runs from July 11 through July 23.

The Summer Dance Intensive is an opportunity for young artists to receive intensive training in multiple dance techniques directly from Ms. Allen, who is the founder of the Debbie Allen Dance Academy in Los Angeles. “It’s character education, it’s getting in touch with that part of [the students’] brain, that creative part that will inspire ideas and innovation,” Allen told WXYZ-TV Detroit when the program was initiated in 2019. “And even if they don’t stay in the dance world, you’re connecting them with that part of themselves that will go out in the world and do something good.”

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The program is one of few opportunities outside of Los Angeles for students ages 8 to 21 to train with one of the most honored and respective African American dance innovators in the nation. The all-encompassing dance intensive for beginners through advanced skill levels will run from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., daily. “Students study hip-hop, jazz, contemporary ballet, tap, African, musical theater, ballet, contemporary, and the Dunham technique,” says Ragsdale, who adds that the Summer Dance Academy takes on special significance since it takes place during the Carr Center’s 30th anniversary year. “The intensive itself also ends with a full, live dance concert, as a culmination of the program.” The final Dance Academy performance is set for Sunday, July 24, 2022. Space is limited, with some partial scholarships available. All pandemic and social distancing protocols will be observed during the 2022 academy program.

This is the fourth year that Debbie Allen has conducted the Summer Dance Intensive in partnership with the Carr Center. In 2021, due to restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Center offered a “Mini Intensive” that was conducted with a much smaller cohort within a shorter daily window.

Gwendolyn Quinn
Gwendolyn Quinn is an award-winning media consultant with a career spanning over 25 years. She is the founder and creator of the African American Public Relations Collective (AAPRC) and the Global Communicator. Her weekly columns, “Inside Broadway,” “The Living Legends Series,” and “My Person of the Week” are published with She is also a contributor to, BE Pulse (via and the Huffington Post. Quinn is also a contributor to "Souls Revealed" and "Handle Your Entertainment Business." She is the curator of The Living Legends Foundation’s “The State of Black Music and Beyond” essay series published on the Huffington Post. Contact her at [email protected]




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