Debbie Allen Fights Diabetes Epidemic With New Dance Campaign

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 04/25/2014 | 03:45 PM EDT

The famed choreographer creates dance and exercise video to promote healthy living

Actress and famed dancer Debbie Allen is using the gift of dance to promote healthy living and fight against the diabetes epidemic.

Having lost her father to Type 2 diabetes in 1984, Allen understands all too well how the disease affects approximately millions of people nationwide. With that in mind, the “A Different World” producer-director launched a new campaign in an attempt to wane such startling statistics.


Using exercise (something very crucial to managing diabetes) in the form of videos, Allen and a group of dancers from "So You Think You Can Dance" collectively known as the T2 Dance Crew perform a host of dance moves geared toward getting people off their couch, and ultimately adopting a more active lifestyle.

“T2 Dance Crew is an initiative that started with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, who came to me and then went over to ‘So You Think You Can Dance’,” Allen told The Grio. “The whole concept is a call to action for some of the 26 million people affected by type 2 diabetes, to be educated and understand how they can better manage this challenge and how they can live a better quality of life - and dance is a big part of it.”

Videos include easy-to-learn choreography with dance styles from hip-hop to salsa.

“I’m just trying to encourage people to take this little step towards improving the bigger picture of their life,” she added.

Allen has long been an advocate for diabetes awareness, and has even championed for another national cause: heart disease treatment and prevention.

“Celebrity is not just good for having your face on cover of magazine, it’s a responsibility and if you can help the public, you should stand up and fight the good fight,” the former American Heart Association spokesperson said in a 2011 interview.

Now that’s What’s Good!

(Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images for BET)

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