Main > Series > Articles/Interviews > Mother's Day with Debbie Allen

Mother's Day is a time for family. The time to embrace those whom you love and care for. For this special occasion, Right On! embraces one whom we love and care for, Debbie Allen.

Debbie will be the first to tell you that she is a dancer. She has an ongoing romance with movement. She opens and touches people with her steps and gestures. Her ear gathers emotions and interprets them in body movements. Debbie Allen is a dancer. However, she is also a lot more.

We know the dancer, the choreographer, the actress, and the producer, but what about the wife and the mother? Debbie is a part of a family. According to Debbie, her family is the most important production in her life. Allen shares the billing with her year-and-a-half-daughter and her husband, a professional basketball player.

It was by no means easy getting in touch with Debbie. To date she is one of the most hard to find people we have had to get in contact with. We finally cornered Debbie backstage in San Francisco, where she was starring in a revival of Sweet Charity. We sat and talked with Debbie in her dressing room a little before her evening performance. She settled back into a chair and started telling all about family.

We started with baby. "V-i-v-i-a-n N-i-c-h-o-l-e," Debbie spelled for me. She added, "She is named after my mother. Her first name is Vivian. Nichole is just a French name that we both liked."

Debbie said that there have been some serious adjustments to her life since the birth of her daughter. "I have such a high spirit and a high energy level. There, it was already not the easiest thing just channelling it into my work and to my husband," Debbie said. She went on to explain, "But now that I have Vivian, she really needs some time. She wore me out today, honeeeey!

"Oooh, that little heifer would not go to sleep. She wanted to play."

Debbie gave us an idea of what a day with baby is like. "Yesterday I did two shows, then a lot of time with her. He does the same things with her that I do." Debbie joked, "He doesn't change her diaper as much. He doesn't fix her formula as much, although he knows how to make her bottle.

"He likes to take her around with him to the car wash and to the bank," Debbie shares. "He likes for her to hang out with him. If I'm working, she's with him all day, and it's great. He's in love with his other woman. It's great when you know who the other woman is." she laughs.

Most of the people who know Debbie and Norm comment that the pair have a lot of fun together. They enjoy each other "We're good friends," Debbie commented.

She continued, "I think that is a part of what makes our relationship great. We were good friends for a long time before we fell in love with each other. We were buddies. It was an interesting thing that happened. We always liked each other. We always thought that each other was cute, but we were just friends." Debbie continued, "He had his girlfriends, and I would tell him about them."

"Norman likes to do so many things that I like to do. He loves to travel. He likes to go out dancing," Debbie said. "He's a really funny guy. He just cracks me up. He's got a great personality. And he is a homebody at the same time. He really likes his family life. And, I just love him a lot." she shared.

Debbie confessed that Norm has turned her into a basketball fan. "I know everything about it. I know all the teams, I know who is playing, who is good and who is not. I can watch and know that the official is giving a bad call. I can get excited over a great lay-up." Debbie stated, "I love what he does. I have a great respect for it. It's much like dance to me."

The one thing that comes through in all of our conversation is the happiness that Debbie shares with her family. It's hard to conceive of Mrs. Nixon being any happier. The feelings that she has for Norm and Vivian appear to overwhelm her at times. You can't help but be a little jealous of what seems to be a perfect situation. What else could Debbie ask for?


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