Debbie Allen started her career as a dancer. She landed a small role in the 1980 film Fame, and when the dance hit became a TV series, her character became a pivotal part of the cast.

Almost 30 years later, Debbie is more than a dancer. She's a choreographer, director, producer, actress and dance academy founder.

Now, this multitalented, multitasking mother of two looks back at the first two seasons of Fame—now available on DVD—and looks forward to the release of the 2009 film. Plus, what she sacrificed for fame and why she started her own dance school.
Kari Forsee: Seasons 1 and 2 of Fame, the TV series, was just released on DVD. What was it like to revisit old episodes?

Debbie Allen: It's relevant to me, still. When I look at those stories, they're the stories of what's going on right now. I think it holds up—the dancing really does hold up.

I think Fame was the first of its kind ever on television. I know there's a new show, Glee, now, but Fame actually did that kind of awhile ago. And, you know, now there are different kinds of songs. We didn't have rap music then, and we didn't have hip-hop. It was kind of all coming. We had break dancing. I remember we did our first break dancing episode, and Ice-T was one of the dancers. He's going to be mad that I told on him, but that's the truth.

KF: When you look back, did you have a favorite dance number from the first two seasons?

DA: I'm going to always love Lydia's and Coco's [dance], "I Thought I Had It This Time." They were battling for the same part. That was in the first season. I loved the story of it...that the dance took the story somewhere.


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