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Taking the next ‘Step’



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Updated: August 23, 2012 10:31AM

So you think you can’t dance? Or maybe you know you can’t dance?

The stars of “Step Up: Revolution” have a little bit of advice.

“You can dance,” says actor Ryan Guzman. “You never know if you can dance until you trust yourself. Dance shouldn’t be judged. You just need to feel it in your body.”

Adds Kathryn McCormick, “Dance is a feeling. The rule is if it feels good then it looks good.”

In “Step Up: Revolution” (opening Friday), Emily (McCormick of “So You Think You Can Dance”) arrives in Miami wanting to become a professional dancer. She finds a love connection with Sean (Guzman), the leader of a local dance crew with a penchant for flash mobs.

It’s boy meets girl meets busting a move in public.

Guzman never thought he would be cast in the film. It only took 10 auditions to get the role. And then there was the little matter that he was auditioning for a dance film and he didn’t know how to dance.

“Of course, eventually I had a dance audition,” moans Guzman. “The director said, ‘Before we see you move, how long have you been dancing?’ ”

“I had to lie and say, ‘All my life.’ ”

He went online for training. “I learned dance moves off YouTube. It helped me get the choreography down. I don’t know what happened, but a month and a half later, I was filming this movie,” Guzman says.

“The funny thing is I kept saying ‘I’m a freestyler.’ I had seen the first ‘Step Up’ movie and not the second or third one. I saw that Channing Tatum danced a little in the movie. He could freestyle and get away with it.”

Guzman and McCormick had to train for nine hours a day to get in perfect dance mode.

“Then I went home and trained for three more hours. I lost 15 pounds in three weeks,” Guzman says.

He adds, “I was taking baths every single nights with Epsom salts. I put Icy Hot on all the time and smelled horrible.”.

What is the appeal of the “Step Up” films?

“They’re fun summer movies and really good date movies,” he says. “Plus, dance is so popular now with ‘So You Think You Can Dance.’ People are so interested in what your body can do when it’s matched to music.

“These movies give dance a voice.”

Adds McCormick, “ ‘America’s Best Dance Crew’ and those shows have allowed people to see how powerful dance is. People follow those dancers.”

She grew up in Augusta, Ga., and started studying dance at age 3 at her mother’s dance studio. McCormick moved to Los Angeles at 18.

“I went to L.A. to pursue dancing and didn’t know if I could do it as a career,” she says. “I was lucky to land ‘So You Think You Can Dance.’ I had never acted but think being on that show was training for an acting career.”

Guzman grew up in Sacramento, Calif., where he always wanted to act. Action films could be in his future. “I was always inspired by Bruce Lee to get into martial arts and got my first black belt at 10,” he says.

Starring in a “Step Up” move means stepping out is tough.

“Now, when I go out in real life, girls expect a lot on the dance floor,” Guzman says. “People also want to have dance-offs in clubs.

“We had a screening in Amsterdam. At an after party, the cast of ‘Step Up’ began to dance. Five or six people wanted to battle me in a dance-off.”

Did he do it?

“Yes, and these kids were very good dancers,” he marvels. “I think they want to be cast in ‘Step Up 6.’ ”

Big Picture News Inc.

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