Monica McSwain stars as Carla Stone, one of an endangered species at Woodridge boarding school - a serious student, in UPN's new half-hour comedy series, Social Studies. Although Carla doesn't have much of a social life, she does not feel pressured to compete with anybody about it. She often gets stuck in the middle between her two feuding roommates, Sara and Madison because she's practical and refuses to take sides.
A native of Omaha, Nebraska, Monica McSwain was introduced early to the performing arts. Her mother, a choreographer, started McSwain in dance at the age of five. She made her stage debut in "The Nutcracker," and as she grew older, danced with the Omaha Ballet. She also started acting in local theatrical productions of "The King and I" and "The Little Match Girl." McSwain continued her dramatic training at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, and developed an interest in African dance. She won a coveted scholarship to study with the prestigious Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and moved to New York, where she also had the opportunity to perform professionally with the company.
Among her screen credits, McSwain appeared in a hip-hop number for Michael Jackson's One Night Only on HBO, had a brief stint on the daytime soap All My Children and guest stared on N. Y. Undercover. Her big break came in 1995, when she made her Broadway debut as Divina in "Chronicle of a Death Foretold." Social Studies marks her debut as a series regular.
McSwain also owns her own women's fashion company, Makeda, for which she designs and produces a line of jewelry and clothing.
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