Just four years after graduating from Evans High School, Kathryn McCormick attended a movie premiere last week in Hollywood.
McCormick wasn’t there as a spectator. Instead, she was having her picture snapped by photographers as fans watched her and other stars of Step Up Revolution make their way down the red carpet.
The movie comes out in theaters nationwide Friday, July 27.
“I’ve seen the movie on the big screen, and then the previews on a computer,” said McCormick, during a phone interview days after the premiere. “But when I saw it on TV, it just kind of hit me how real it is and how big it is.
“It’s just surreal, coming from such a small town.”
McCormick’s role in Step Up Revolution is the first acting part the dancer has landed since moving to Los Angeles shortly after graduating from Evans in 2008.
McCormick plays Emily, an aspiring dancer in Miami who’s joined a dance crew, only to find out her father, a developer, plans to turn the group’s neighborhood into a commercial development.
The movie is the fourth installment in the Step Up franchise, which started in 2006.
“You go into something, and there’s a lot of pressure to want to make it the best that it can be,” said McCormick, adding that she’s been a fan of the series since high school.
McCormick stars in the movie alongside Ryan Guzman, as her romantic interest, Sean, and Misha Gabriel, as Eddy. The flick was the first for all three actors, McCormick said.
At her fourth and final audition, McCormick said she and Guzman really hit it off.
“As soon as we walked in the room, I don’t know what happened, but we created a moment, and it was just silent in the room,” she said. “You could feel it. It was just right.
“It was just kind of magical.”
A strong bond developed between the cast and crew during the filming process, she said.
“If anyone was feeling down or having a hard time, we’d pick each other up,” McCormick said. “I think that’s what made everything really solid.”
McCormick spent three months in dance training and filming in Miami for the movie.
Before auditioning for the role, McCormick said she’d taken only a couple of improvisational classes.
McCormick, however, had plenty of dancing experience.
She danced for years at Augusta West Dance Studio and competed on the Fox network reality show So You Think You Can Dance in 2009. Then 19, McCormick finished third in the dance competition and was an All-Star on the show.
“I didn’t even realize, actually, that I was learning so much about being a storyteller on the show until I was put in the position where I had to use it,” she said.
McCormick said she had hoped to travel back to Augusta on Friday to watch Step Up Revolution in a local theater, but conflicts with her schedule prevent her from doing so.
While it’s hard for McCormick to be away from her family, the performer said she doesn’t see herself moving back to Georgia. She does, though, try to make it home three times a year, she said.
“It’s my roots,” she said. “It’s my family.”
As for the future, McCormick said she hopes to continue moving forward with her blooming acting career, balancing it with her dancing.
“I never planned to be here or to be doing this, but I’m really grateful,” she said. “It’s amazing.”