Actress Debbie Allen helps Town N' Country seniors get the beat - WFLA News Channel 8

Actress Debbie Allen helps Town N' Country seniors get their beat back

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HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Actress Debbie Allen may be best known for her work on the hit TV show, "Fame."  She played tough dance teacher, Lydia Grant.  Her career has taken her from television to Broadway.  She's even choreographed the Academy Awards 10 times.

But these days, Allen is doing a lot of her dancing with senior citizens. She's joined a national awareness campaign to educate seniors about their heart health. It's called "Join the Pace Makers."

"We answer questions. We eat. We dance," Allen said of events she's been hosting across the country.

Dozens of people turned out to see Allen at the Town N' Country Senior Center.  They heard from doctors about new pace maker technology.  Some pace makers are now actually compatible with MRI diagnostics.

"I think it's important for people to know there are options and this is all part of your health," said Allen.

After the doctors' presentations, Allen led the group in a dance class.  It's a cause that's close to her own heart, because heart disease runs in her family.  She lost her father, an uncle and an aunt to the disease.  She said she and her sister, the actress Phylicia Rashad, watch their own children for signs.

"Any chance we have to educate people about what is possible, we do it," Allen said.

When Allen isn't busy changing lives, she can be seen playing Dr. Katherine Avery on the show "Grey's Anatomy."  She said fans always want to know what's next, but she says sometimes she doesn't even know.

"As an actor on the show, you're never allowed to talk about what's going to happen," she said. "But you don't even know until you get there!"

As for her work with "Join the Pace Makers," Allen said it's important for people to get educated about their own heart health. For more information, go to www.jointhepacemakers.com.

 

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