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Paula Brown

Founder & Artistic Director

Ballet is what fills my soul and makes me come alive. I have always believed in creating a community of people who love the power of movement as much as I do, and this is my main goal as a dedicated Founder, Artistic Director, and Instructor. I want each and every one of my students to leave class feeling energized, joyful, and empowered. I hope that you will embark on this incredible journey with PBPAC.

Her Story

Paula Brown is an accomplished dancer, singer, actress, choreographer, certified ballet instructor, private coach, and motivational speaker. Born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Prince George’s County, Maryland, Brown began her classical ballet studies at Jones Haywood Dance School. After graduating from Central High School in Prince George's County, Brown attended the Alvin Ailey School of Dance (NYC) on full scholarship. In 2018, she received her certification in Vaganova Technique from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, New York. Brown is widely known for her credits in dance, theater, film, television, and music. 


Brown joined the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble in 1979 and remained with the company through 1982. A few of her favorite theater credits include I Went To Heaven (2009), Tell Hell (2008), and The Old Settler (2004). She appeared on Broadway as Crow, Poppy, and Emerald City Citizen in The Wiz (1984) and as Anita in West Side Story (2005). Some of her notable film and television credits include Lackawanna Blues (1991), School Daze (1988), Coming to America (1988), The Running Man (1987), Sledge Choreographer Sundance Film Festival (2005), Confessions Of An Action Star (2005), dance double for The Josephine Baker Story (1991), and Fame (1984-1986). 


Brown was the artistic director for the The Oprah Winfrey Show (2006), Good Morning America (2002), The Martha Stewart Show (2001), Ellen (2002), Fox's New Year's Eve Special (2002), and The Today Show (2002).


Brown (stage name Summer) is a platinum recording artist and the lead singer of Snap. The group is known for their chart hits "I Got The Power," "Rhythm Is A Dancer," and "Welcome To Tomorrow" (co-written by Brown). Brown's choreography credits include BET's Lifetime Achievement Awards with Ronald Isley (2004) and Teen Choice Awards with Chingy (2005). Additionally, she wrote, choreographed, and directed "Living the Dream" (2015) for the Prince George's County Courts Black History Performance and "A Dream to Share" (2015) for Fairfax County's Department of Neighborhood and Community Services Black History Musical. A recent notable mention is Brown's 2018 appointment as Prince George's Arts and Humanities Council Artist in Residency; she was the choreographer for Bowie State University's inaugural tribute to President Aminta H. Breaux.


She has worked with many notable entertainers and choreographers and has performed and toured with James Brown, Janet Jackson (Control), Paula Abdul, Patti Labelle, Prince (Batdance), Dr. Dre, and Snoop Dogg. In 2018, Brown's choreographed piece "Selah" was adjudicated by Judith Jamison, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Artistic Director.


Currently, Brown lives and works in Prince George's County, Maryland. Brown is an adjunct professor at Bowie State University⸺where she teaches Ballet Technique and Play Production⸺and is the founder and artistic director of Paula Brown Performing Arts Center (PBPAC): Home of the Brown Ballerinas (founded in 2014). 


PBPAC's Brown Ballerinas have auditioned and performed with the Collage Dance Collective Rise, Washington, D.C.(2017 - 2019) after three-months of training with Brandye Lee and Kevin Thomas. They have performed for the Celebration of Philanthropy hosted by the Greater Washington Community Foundation at Arena Stage and the Mead Center for American Theater (2018). Brown Ballerina showcased various dance genres, from classical ballet to hip hop, at the Mall at Prince George's Annual Black History month performance (2013 - 2017). Finally, Brown Ballerinas were featured at MGM National Harbor at the behest of Charles Staunton (2017).


Brown served as the Spirit of Faith Fine Arts Ministry's Dance Director from 2017-2019. She choreographed the God's Glamorous Girls Conference (2017), a Christmas production starring Vickie Winans and Tim Bowman Jr. (2016), and Nail Scarred Hands (DeeDee Freeman) starring Kelly Price and Ke Ke Wyatt at the Spirit of Faith Christian Center (2018). Students from PBPAC performed in these productions.


At the Paula Brown Performing Arts Center, Brown is the Artistic Director. Brown Ballerinas NYC Youth Summer Intensives are one of many notable programs created by Brown.During the summer intensives, dancers (ages 11-17) receive intense and rigorous training across dance genres (i.e., Ballet, Pointe, Lester Horton, Martha Graham, Broadway Jazz, Floor Hip Hop, Barre, and Repertoire Choreography). The program instructors come from myriad performance and celebrity backgrounds. The program is held annually in Harlem, New York, at Tony award-winner George Faison's Firehouse Theater.


She is a member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), American Federation of Television and Radio Association (AFTRA), and Actor's Equity Union.

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