By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Debbie Allen, perhaps most recognizable for her role as a dance teacher on the TV show “Fame,” is also known for her 22-year-old dance academy, and now there’s a middle school that goes with it.

Debbie Allen looks on as the inaugural sixth grade class are instructed in academics. (CBSLA)

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The school, called the Debbie Allen Dance Academy or DADA, has now added academics, a dream that became a reality this last fall.

“It has been a dream for me for the last, probably, 8 to 10 years wanting to do it and finally, we did it,” Allen said.

Ella Hoy is part of the inaugural class of sixth graders at the academy. Eventually, seventh and eighth graders will be added.

“So, we do three hours of academics in the morning and three hours of dance,” Hoy said.

Morgan Grier moved from Atlanta to attend the new school.

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“It’s really different. I can say it’s really different, but in an amazing way,” Grier said. “The schools I had in Atlanta, it’s just like eight hours straight academics, and then we would go, like the after school activities, but here I like how we still get to focus on learning. But the arts as well because we get to do acting. We get to do drawing, dance. So, I really like how we get to express ourselves in different ways.

This is exactly what Allen intended.

“It was always by design. I wanted it to be a small class. There’s never going to be more than 15 kids in one class, so that we are really giving them the best education, creativity, you know, just pumping their curiosity and making education, you know, a fun and exciting and dynamic experience,” she said.

For the 15 students, who auditioned to get in, Allen said they will get a broad education. They recently went on a field trip to watch “West Side Story,” but Allen also has plans for the students to go whale watching.

Every Friday, the students attend a master class with Allen and other actors teaching the young students.

For her part, Allen credits Wallis Annenberg, Shonda Rhimes, Barry Gordy and even the late Kobe Bryan with helping her get this school off the ground.

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Next year, they will move into the new 24,000 square foot Rhimes Building.