Debbie Allen’s Dance Academy New Performing Arts Center Breaks Ground

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas joined entertainment icon Debbie Allen at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Debbie Allen Dance Academy’s (DADA) new Rhimes Performing Arts Center in Mid-City.

The groundbreaking marks the beginning of construction on the Rhimes Performing Arts Center which, at approximately 24,000 sq. ft., will include a performance space with a seating capacity of 200, classroom space, and dance and production studios. Last year, The Board of Supervisors approved a motion allocating $300,000 from The Los Angeles County Development Authority (LACDA) Renovate Program towards street and other right-of-way improvements adjacent to DADA’s new facility. Eligible improvements included the installation of a network-capable bus stop, e-mobility docking stations, a parklet to create a safe and attractive place for community gathering, and lighting in the public right-of-way.

“The arts matter. This new facility is based on hard work, two decades of labor, two decades of investing in children and families. A place that dancers can freely express themselves and advance their skills,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. “I am proud to be a part of this new endeavor and to see what they’ve achieved. This is really important, particularly in this time of heightened stress. Arts communicate justice, arts communicate peace, arts communicate the possibility for a better world.”

Known for her dynamic energy, creative talent and innovation, Debbie Allen is a force to be reckoned with. An internationally recognized director, choreographer, author, dancer and actor, Debbie Allen continues to aspire through her philanthropic projects and her dance academy.

“The Supervisor is a dream come true. He has done so much for us, and I cannot thank him enough,” said Debbie Allen. “I am happy that he was able to be here with us today to celebrate this moment, and that he’ll be with us the remainder of the way. We love him.”

Founded in 2001, the DADA is a non-profit organization that has provided comprehensive dance instruction and cultural enrichment programs to youth and adults across South Los Angeles for over two decades. DADA teaches over 800 students on site with 60-70% on scholarship, serves 15,000 community members through its outreach programs, and impacts 30,000 audience members locally with millions worldwide.

DADA provides services to over 3,000 participants annually at its existing building along the Crenshaw Corridor, and with the new facility, DADA hopes to expand its services to 9,500 participants annually.

For more information and updates on Debbie Allen’s Dance Academy, please visit