Debbie Allen and Friends Join Forces to Create an International Dance-a-Thon to Support the Dance Community During COVID-19

​​Debbie Allen Dance Academy, JaQuel Knight Foundation, Dance Media, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, and Annenberg Foundation present Dance To The Music, a worldwide digital dance-a-thon on Saturday, June 13, 2020, from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. (noon to midnight PT) on Instagram.

COVID-19 created an instant BLACKOUT for theaters, dance schools, concerts, festivals, tours, movies, and television - all the venues of work for the dance world - impacting the financial security of thousands of dancers and performance-industry professionals. According to Kathryn Barger, Chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, there are "890,000 film and entertainment employees, many of whom may not be working." In response to the pandemic, the dance community continues to shine on social media platforms, proving their inimitable spirits won't be conquered by a virus.

Inspired by the fundraiser Rosie O'Donnell hosted, Debbie Allen conceptualized the idea of a dance-a-thon that could bring money and visibility to the state of the dance world. She presented her idea to Dance Media, several dozen choreographers, foundation representatives, and dance studio and convention owners on a conference call. Choreographer JaQuel Knight then reached out to partner with Debbie Allen, as he had already been working tirelessly to that effort.

Debbie Allen and JaQuel Knight are stepping up for the dance community with the help of the Annenberg Foundation, Dance Media, AIDS Healthcare Foundation and their fabulous friends to keep the dance community alive amidst this crisis with #DanceToTheMusic for 12 hours of dancing, testimonials, music, and fun. The #DanceToTheMusic livestream will raise money to keep dance teachers, dancers, and choreographers supported during COVID-19. Viewers will be able to stream #DanceToTheMusic on Saturday, June 13, from 12 p.m.-12 a.m. PT on Instagram. Debbie, JaQuel, Ellen Pompeo, Misty Copeland, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Billy Porter, Chita Rivera, Shonda Rhimes, Sergio Trujillo, Jesse Williams, Dolly Parton, D-Nice, Savion Glover, Jason Samuels Smith, Tiler Peck, Ms. Pat, Tommy Davidson, Jenifer Lewis, Syncopated Ladies, Jean-Victor, Shiamak Davar, Dance Theater of Harlem, Phylicia Rashad, Condola Rashad, Marguerite Derricks, Bebe Neuwirth, Nigel Lythgoe, Loretta Divine, Marty Kudelka, Twitch, and Mandy Moore are just some of the featured guests.

Funds raised through #DanceToTheMusic will go to The Actor's Fund, Career Transition for Dancers, The International Association of Blacks In Dance, International Association for Dance Medicine & Science, Dance Resource Center, Debbie Allen Dance Academy, The JaQuel Knight Foundation's Dancer Relief Fund, National Dance Education Organization, Dance USA, The NYC Dancer Relief Fund, and other non-profit organizations. The goal of this livestream event is to uplift humanity, motivate unity beyond the battle against COVID-19, raise awareness of the many virtual dance programs available online, and raise funds to bring relief to dancers, choreographers, dance instructors and their counterparts who have been affected by COVID-19.

For more information, contact Maureé Sullivan at (248) 467-1939 or

Source: Debbie Allen Dance Academy