When Stephen “Stevo” Jones auditioned for Step Up: All In, the most he had hoped for was a dance role.
“I auditioned as a dancer, and they didn’t call me back. I assumed I didn’t get it. Then, I went away to the beach with my family, and I was called to read,” said Jones, who appears in the role of Jasper Tarik in Step Up All In, which is set for an Aug. 8 release.
Jones, a 2000 graduate of Lakeside High School, who trained initially as a ballet dancer under his father, Ron Jones, director of the Columbia County Ballet, was surprised when he was asked to read for the role of the leader of the rival dance crew in the fifth installment of the Step Up movie series, but he said he’s excited about his biggest appearance to date.
“I was tripping out. He’s a vital character,” he said. “I did more acting than dancing.”
The movie was filmed last summer. Actors spent about two weeks in rehearsal then they filmed in Vancouver and Las Vegas.
Jones said the actors were given liberty with their lines and allowed to improvise. One of his improvised lines ended up in the movie’s theatrical trailer.
While Jones’ early training was in classical ballet, his professional dance career has revolved primarily around hip hop.
Jones has been in the background for most of his other television and movie appearances. Early in his professional dance career, he worked in Atlanta dancing and choreographing for the Georgia Lottery; he also choreographed pieces for the Atlanta Hawks halftime events. He was a backup dancer for the hip hop artist Lloyd for several years, performing in his music videos and in his appearances on So You Think You Can Dance, Showtime at the Apollo and BET’s Hip Hop Awards. He also choreographed and danced in music videos for R&B artist, Jacob Latimore. Jones also had a role as a dancer in the 2011 remake of Footloose.
Jones now lives in Los Angeles, but he is currently touring as a dancer with violinist Lindsey Stirling. And he’s finally using some of his ballet training. During one of her pieces, he performs a presage, a move in which the male dancer lifts the female dancer above his head and walks with her in that position.
In this case, Stirling continues to play the violin while in the position.
Stirling has been touring the United States this summer and plans a European Tour in October.