Dancer, choreographer, and actress known for her work on the 1982 series Fame, in which she both played Lydia Grant and served as principal choreographer. She's also played Catherine Avery on Grey's Anatomy.
She attended Howard University before making her Broadway debut in Purlie with a role in the chorus. She first assumed the role of Fame's Lydia Grant in the 1980 movie of the same name.
She became a member of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities when she was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2001.