Allen received a bachelor's degree in ballet in 1964 and a master's degree in ballet choreography in 1967, both from the University of Utah, where she studied on scholarship.
Allen joined the Dance faculty at BYU in 1968. She was instrumental in the development of the ballet program. In addition, Allen taught courses in technique and ballet methods. She also directed the summer workshops for many years. She also worked on developing a text for teaching dance that includes a DVD where students can learn the French dance terms, see it pronounced and performed correctly. At BYU, Allen served on various committees, chaired the University Awards Committee, and was presented the College of Health and Human Performance Citizenship Award in 2002.
Allen has been active in the ballet community as both a teacher and a performer. She is on the Board of Directors for the CORPS de Ballet International and serves as Acting Secretary. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi and has appeared as a soloist with Utah Civic Ballet (the parent of Ballet West).
In 2004, Allen helped choreograph and present the original The Snow Queen, ballet on BYU's stage. Based on the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, the ballet was restaged in February 2012 in honor of Allen, who retired from BYU's Dance Department after forty-four years.