Berry Gordy (2nd to the right) celebrates with Debbie Allen (far right) at the grand opening of the Debbie Allen Dance Academy in Los Angles.
Photo by Francis Taylor for Sentinel
The Debbie Allen Dance Academy, featured recently in the Los Angeles Sentinel, celebrated its official Grand Opening at their, impressive, newly designed and constructed facility in the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza shopping center.The grand opening celebration was an event that had all of the accoutrements of a Hollywood-style event and the celebrities, dance performers, faculty, staff, as well as the guests and visitors, enjoyed a quality event that is representative of the quality of dance and personal development instruction that is in store for the students of all ages who are invited to attend.In addition to the exceptionally well choreographed dance performances by members of the dance academy, the grand opening featured many of the communities arts and cultural supporters as well as special guests of honor including; philanthropist, Wallis Annenberg, Motown founder and R&B patriarch, Berry Gordy, and Quintin E. Primo, III, Chairman, Founder, and CEO of Capri Capital Partners, the development firm presently developing the 43 acres comprising the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza.Debbie Allen, the Dance Academy Founder, welcomed all of the guests and traced her early inspiration for establishing the initial academy location in Culver City, California. She described the progressive thinking and actions of her mother who made it possible for her to fulfill her early desire to dance. She also indicated that after considerable struggle to establish the first academy that Barry Gordy was an early supporter."Berry Gordy was the first sponsor," said Allen. "And he has been here with us since the beginning."In recognition of Gordy's unfailing commitment and support, one of the dance studio rooms was named the Berry Gordy Room.Allen also acknowledged the major sponsorship provided by Wallis Annenberg, whose generosity was also recognized with a dancing space named the Wallis Annenberg Studio.Allen recalled that she was asked what she needed to assist with the development of her academy. She said that she needed scholarships and help to provide assistance for the many young people who sought dance instruction."The four million dollars they have provided," Allen explained, has made it possible for us to reach out and touch so many young people."Equally acknowledged for his vision and support in assisting Allen in relocating her academy was that of property developer, Primo."After a brief meeting in northern California, Quintin visited me in Los Angeles and offered to help," said Allen. "He made a pledge to provide the space in the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza shopping center and he kept his promise."Despite the troubled economic conditions locally and nationwide, Primo has exciting, challenging, yet deliverable plans for the development of the most significant section of real estate in historically significant Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza."We are very much committed to the development of the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza," Primo explained. "The Debbie Allen Dance Academy will be a celebration of culture for African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans and others," he continued. "The grand opening of Debbie Allen's Dance Academy is the beginning of the revitalization of the Crenshaw Mall."