Including stays in Atlanta and Los Angeles, Stephen Jones has spent the past 13 years pursuing a professional dance career.
Finally, he’s caught his break in Hollywood.
Despite minimal acting experience, the 2000 Lakeside High School graduate earned the role of Jasper Tarik in the upcoming 3-D dance film Step Up: All In – which opens nationwide Friday.
“I’ve never been in a role of this caliber before,” Jones said. “Not even close. It feels incredible to finally be living my dream, but what means even more is knowing that I have support from everyone back home. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen everyone, but their support is what keeps me going.”
In honor of opening night, Jones’ parents, Ron and Kathleen, rented a 77-seat theater at Augusta Regal Cinemas to screen the movie.
This is the fifth installment in the Step Up film series.
“We know we’ll be screaming and yelling and didn’t want to disturb other people in the theater,” Ron Jones said. “So we figured we’d just rent the whole thing out.”
Initially, Jones’ parents believed they would “have to eat some cost for tickets.” That, however, hasn’t been the case.
In less than a day, the family’s 77 tickets sold out after their daughter announced the event via social media.
“I couldn’t believe it,” said Ron Jones, who trained his son in Russian and Cecchetti ballet for more than 15 years. “Now I wish we rented two theaters.”
Stephen Jones won’t be in Augusta for the showing but plans to view the movie opening night.
In the film, Jones’ character is the lead antagonist.
“We’re having a screening in LA for the cast Thursday night, but a bunch of us already bought tickets to see it again Friday,” he said. “People might wonder what’s going on when they look up and see the characters sitting in the same theater.”
Before earning the role of Jasper Tarik, Jones was a backup dancer in Step Up 3 and the remake of Footloose.
Neither of those parts, his father says, compare to Friday’s release.
“In (Step Up 3) and Footloose, we had to buy the DVD to really see Stephen on screen,” he said. “But this movie is different – he has a much larger role in this one. As his parents, we’re so proud of this moment.”
Stephen Jones added: “Up to this point, my acting career has been at a minimum. I’ve pretty much only done dancing roles till now, but hopefully this will be the beginning of something new.”
Jones is the second local actor to have a major role in the Step Up series.
Kathryn McCormick, a 2008 graduate of Evans High School, starred in Step Up 4: Revolution as Emily Anderson, the main female character.