On her attraction to her husband, Robert:
“He made me laugh. He’s silly and I’m a very silly person. He’s just a jokester. Telling your mama jokes. Doing impressions. He’s hilarious. His facial expressions, the way he reacts to somebody. When he does Stevie Wonder —that is my all time favorite. I get to see the spiritual side. People hear it in his music but I get to see it in his life. He has a tender heart. He’s a tender person. He has a tender heart toward God. That upbringing in the church, you hear it in his voice, his singing.”

On one of the best days of her life:
About four years ago Andrea received the ultimate anniversary present from her husband. It was a surprise; it was an anniversary gift from Robert. He pretended to take her to a restaurant and told her to close her eyes. He really took her to Debbie Allen’s studio to meet her idol and first dance teacher from watching “Fame” episodes.

“I open my eyes and she’s standing right there. I’m telling you I literally fell out. Purse went flying, shoes came off, I just ran and fell at her feet. I was like, “Oh, this is so embarrassing. In tears, I could not believe it.”

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On her passion for opening an urban dance studio:
“What’s the point of me having a dance school out in the suburbs for kids where their parents can afford to send them? So the ones that I’ve found that have that raw talent are the kids in the hood. Why? Because you don’t have the things out there that the kids in the suburbs have so you’re forced to find something to do with your time, if that’s on the block, in the summer, somebody with their radio out, people dancing in the street, people battling or you go to your park district.”
 —Compiled by Natalie Y. Moore

Pick up our June Collector’s Edition issue with Mary J. Blige on the cover. You’ll find even more of this story, get our Black Music Month special, and help us pay tribute to Mary, Queen of Hip-hop Soul. The June issue hits newsstands May 11, 2007.