On February 9th, Chris Brown made news that he crashed his Porsche after being chased by paparazzi. But what very few people knew at that time was that he was on the way to the renowned Debbie Allen Dance Academy to award scholarships to five teenaged Dance Academy finalists, funded by Chris’s Symphonic Love Scholars program.
Despite being involved in the crash, Chris arrived in “great spirits and focused on the kids and being there,” according to an eyewitness at the event.
“He focused on being present and encouraging the kids. He’s able to see their unique abilities,” the eyewitness told HollywoodLife exclusively.
As it turned out, Chris was so impressed by a dance performance by all 11 finalists for his Symphonic Love Scholarships that he decided he didn’t want to have to choose just five students.
“He saw how devastated the kids would be if they weren’t chosen and he decided on the spot to more than double the scholarships to 11,” the eyewitness reports. “The kids were so excited they were crying.”
Now all 11 students who came from low-income families will be able to train six days a week (after school and on Saturdays) at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy (DADA) and be able to perform in the annual DADA concert and also be able to participate in various auditions.
Chris established the Symphonic Love Foundation scholarships because “he understands the scholarships provide opportunities and he knows that dance can change people’s lives — it can be transformative,” Debbie Allen, the artistic director and founder of the Debbie Allen Dance Academy, told HollywoodLife.com exclusively.
“Chris understands that young people deserve the opportunity” to have artistic expression, explains Debbie Allen. “It’s very sad that arts programs are one of the first things cut in most public schools in low-income neighborhoods.”
Ms. Allen also pointed out that “Chris is taking the time to be physically present [at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy] and to develop a relationship with the kids.”
“It’s one thing to give a scholarship, but it’s another to come in,” Ms. Allen told HollywoodLife. “Chris has found a purpose beyond his own stardom with this.”
She said that Chris was so inspired by watching the students who are between 15 and 18 perform, that he said he “felt like he needed to start stretching after he saw them.”
He also told a whole group of about 60 students who attended the performance that he wants them in his next video, and he stayed and talked and took photos with the students.
Chris later said about awarding the DADA scholarships: “everyone has their own unique creativity. One way of being isn’t better than another. I’m not judging the finalists, I’m here to inspire and motivate. I could see in their faces and in their energy that they have the drive and the dream. They are all beautiful.”
Chris’s visit to the Debbie Allen Dance Academy came after a couple of tough weeks for the singer. Aside from the car crash, he was also in court on Feb. 6 dealing with questions on his community service during probation and before that he was involved in a dispute with Frank Ocean on Jan. 27.