It’s hard to get a good workout when you’re confined to quarters during a pandemic, and as social distancing becomes the new norm, the opportunities to get moving are few and far between. Sure, there are online concerts and yoga tutorials galore, but there’s only one Debbie Allen – and the dance legend is bringing her talents to the masses with free virtual classes.

Actress and dancer Debbie Allen in 2019
Dance legend Debbie Allen taught a free Instagram Live class on Wednesday and thousands tuned in © Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

The actress, dancer, and choreographer best known for Fame – and more recently, Grey’s Anatomy – kicked off her first class on Wednesday via Instagram Live, and tens of thousands tuned in to break a sweat. “All are welcome,” Allen tweeted the day before. ”Spread the word. See you on the dance floor.” 

The world accepted her invitation. Some 34,000 people joined the class live, and nearly 30,000 have checked out the recap she posted on Thursday, set to the Fame theme song and featuring dancers of all ages who’d clicked in from home. A followup kids’ class is scheduled for Saturday morning, and another all-ages class looks to be in the works for next week.  

“I’m coming for you!” she said as the music kicked in. “Here we go!” After a quick warm-up – isolations, naturally – she took things up a notch and kept the intensity high for the length of the class, wrapping with the instruction to stretch and remain grounded. “Lay down and feel the energy of the earth...that connects us,” she said. “That was massive.” 

Allen is no stranger to helping others reach their full potential. She mentors hundreds of young hopefuls at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy, a Los Angeles nonprofit with regular programming for kids as young as 3 and outreach programs tailored to senior citizens, cancer patients, and more.

“It's really something when you're in a position when you can actually bring people along with you,” Allen told the Oprah Magazine’s McKenzie Jean-Philippe in an interview earlier this month. “And that's kind of what's happening. I'm moving forward all of the time, but I'm taking a lot of people with me.”

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