Alabama State Dance Program Majors Chosen to Perform at Kennedy Center

Last Updated on May 31, 2023

Alabama State University Theatre Arts Department Dance Program

Alabama State University‘s Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance program is only a few months old, but it already is paying big dividends. Freshmen dance majors Lauren Smith and Jaylon Givan have been selected to represent the South Region of the American College Dance Festival Association (ACDFA) in June.

Givan, a Birmingham native, said he is thrilled that the students’ hard work is being recognized.

“I have never participated in anything as huge as the ACDFA. To perform at the Kennedy Center is a well-deserved reward showing that all those late night rehearsals and hard work have not gone unrecognized. It also shows that whatever you put something good into, you will get something good out of,” Givan said.

The students will present a piece titled “The Need to Be,” which was choreographed by Kavin Grant, assistant professor of dance. The piece was selected from 41 entries during the Kennedy Center Regional Festival held March 21-24 at the University of Arkansas.

Grant said the opportunity is a tremendous benefit for the students and for the ASU’s dance program.

“This has allowed them to take their artistry to the next level by receiving constructive feedback on their performance from acclaimed dance choreographers. Being selected to represent our region in D.C. says a lot about our newly-established BFA/Dance program, which gives our program, college and ASU recognition on a national level,” Grant said.

Michael Medcalf, head of the BFA/Dance program, said ASU’s selection is a significant milestone for such a new program.

“We are so excited for our students and for the program. This is the first time ASU has taken pieces to be adjudicated at ACDFA, and to have one of them chosen to represent the region is unheard of,” Medcalf said. “This is a testament to the hard work of our students and faculty, as well as the support of our chair, dean, and the entire ASU administration. This is such a positive recognition for a brand new program.”

About ASU's BFA Dance Program

Inspired by Dean Tommie Stewart’s vision to formally bring dance to the forefront at Alabama State University, it now offers a Bachelor Fine Arts degree in dance. ASU is one of only two institutions of higher learning in the entire state of Alabama, and is the only institution in the historically black college and university network to offer the degree specifically in dance. Already ASU’s BFA/Dance Program has attracted talented students from as near as Montgomery and as far as Washington D.C. to study dance at ASU!

Alabama State University’s BFA/Dance Program provides a rigorous and comprehensive dance curriculum designed to produce high caliber, diverse, and technically proficient dance artists, who contribute to the field of dance regionally, nationally, and globally. With ballet, modern, African or Hip Hop as foundationally techniques, students can further choose jazz or tap as a focused elective. With comfortable classroom student to teacher ratios, individualized attention is given to each student’s professional dance development and unique talents within the BFA/Dance Program at Alabama State University.

For more information on ASU’s BFA/Dance program, contact 334-229-6929

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