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Kavin T. Grant

1981-2019

Kavin T. Grant, an artistic native from Jacksonville, Florida who has innovatively, guided the world towards better. Grant was an Assistant Professor of Dance at Alabama State University, who received his MFA in Dance with a concentration in Choreography and Performance from Temple University (Philadelphia, PA). To name one of his acknowledgments, Grant was awarded the Rose Vernick Artistic Transformation Award in 2012. Mr. Grant trained and performed with Kariamu and Company (3+ years): Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Monsters of Hip-Hop, Florida Community College at Jacksonville and Jacksonville University where he earned a BFA in Dance with departmental honors and a minor in Sociology.

Grant was mostly honored for his creativity, ability to stand firmly on "Art is life", and his challenging, organic, healing, fun, yet life-changing processes. He is the founder and CEO of A Kavin Grant Productions and Entertainment, Inc. for the visual and performing arts. Two of his choreographic works were adjudicated and selected for the Gala program at both Northeast and Southeast Regions of the American College Dance Festival Association. He has been a guest instructor/choreographer at International Association of Blacks in Dance, Booker T. Washington Magnet School, and Troy University along with many other learning environments of different levels. Mr. Grant is the Founder of A Rhythm Nation (House of Nations, Inc.) and Dream Chasers both out of Jacksonville, FL, as well as The Dance Company Experience in Atlanta, GA, and Montgomery, AL.

Mr. Grant specialized in classical ballet (Vaganova), contemporary ballet, contemporary modern, hip-hop, jazz, African (Umfundalai), musical theater and step dance.

The Need To Be (excerpt) | ACDFA- Kennedy Center acclaimed |Choreography: Kavin T. Grant | Performed by: Jaylon Givan and Lauren Smith (4/13/19)

After reading your recommendation letter that you wrote for me in 2017, I was blown away and thought it couldn’t get any better than that. January 1st, 2019, little did I know I was taking my last few moments on the main stage. Directly before The Dance Company Experience Winter Intensive ‘18, I was diagnosed with two injuries that took me out for months. At the time I could not figure out why performing an opening solo during TDCE'WI18 choreographed by you meant so much to me than it ever had before. After a while, I realized that you 100% trusted ALL of me to carry the torch no matter the circumstance. You think it can’t get any better, right? What other way to be renewed and reintroduced to the golden key (dance), than to be asked to perform at Grant’s tribute showcase in his hometown as a welcome back to the stage. Lauren and I were asked to perform his classic work “The Need to Be”, originally set on us in 2013. Through experiencing April 13th, I was able to witness at a high capacity the treasure of your life and legacy.  Seeing so many people pray together at your tribute showcase from all over the world, different races, sizes, sexualities, etc. brought so much joy and hope to my heart. Inhaling all of the love and memories from scrolling social media to actual encounters brought back my personal moments I shared with you.

You saw time in an eighteen-year-old boy that had all the love, passion, and ambition you could possibly imagine yet voided by an imposture, unsure of his value, and gullible; to top it off he had no real training, that sounds like the cherry on top to me. Without a doubt you took him in; you were his everything (unannounced) mentor, friend, brother, father figure, professor all in one. You built on to what he already had and capitalized on it. Not once did you think to give up or that he was inadequate. You created experiences that would take him back to his past while calmly, guiding him into his future. Your experiences nurtured him, loved him, welcomed him, valued him, elevated him, and never broke him without healing him. No one wants to be broken.  You were your experiences!

This isn’t about dance, this isn’t about you being creative, and this isn’t about how much dedication you put in. Let’s not forget we have a whole world waiting to be saved. Why can’t you be the hero? You have left behind huge shoes to fill by being faithful to God and His plan. Although we may suffer emotionally from time to time, we have everything to fight and live for. As long as the sun still rise I will let you live through me. (The Appeal – Kirk Franklin)

-Jaylon Givan