6.9/10
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Step (2017)

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2:41 | Trailer
STEP documents the senior year of a girls' high-school step dance team against the background of inner-city Baltimore.

Director:

Amanda Lipitz
9 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gari McIntyre Gari McIntyre ... Herself - New Step Coach
Amanda Leonard Amanda Leonard ... Herself
Blessin Giraldo ... Herself - Founder and Captain
Chevonne Hall Chevonne Hall ... Herself - BLSYW Principal
Paula Dofat Paula Dofat ... Herself - Director of College Counseling
Geneva Giraldo Geneva Giraldo ... Herself - Blessin's Mother
Brooke Giraldo Brooke Giraldo ... Herself - Blessin's Sister
Cori Grainger ... Herself
Triana Grainger Triana Grainger ... Herself - Cori's Mother
Shelton Grainger Shelton Grainger ... Himself - Cori's Stephfather
Tayla Solomon ... Herself
Maisha Solomon Maisha Solomon ... Herself - Tayla's Mother
Lora Fitzgerald Lora Fitzgerald ... Herself - Step Teacher
Lakira Anderson Lakira Anderson ... Lethal Ladies of BLSYW Step Team Member
Shanice Barkley Shanice Barkley ... Lethal Ladies of BLSYW Step Team Member
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Storyline

STEP documents the senior year of a girls' high-school step dance team against the background of inner-city Baltimore. As each one tries to become the first in their families to attend college, the girls strive to make their dancing a success against the backdrop of social unrest in the troubled city. Written by Fox Searchlight Pictures

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A real life story

Genres:

Documentary

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements and some language | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 August 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Step See more »

Filming Locations:

Baltimore, Maryland, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$146,488, 6 August 2017

Gross USA:

$1,146,292

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,152,839
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Blessin Giraldo: Step is life.
See more »

Connections

References Chicago (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Jump
Written by Taura Stinson, Raphael Saadiq and Laura Karpman
Performed by Cynthia Erivo
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User Reviews

 
stepping up
8 August 2017 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Director Amanda Lipitz proves that a documentary can be both inspiring and a bit sad. She takes us inside the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women and introduces us to the senior girls on the Step dance squad known as the "Lethal Ladies". The school was founded in 2009 with the goal of sending every student to college, in spite of the challenges and barriers faced in this inner city community. This is the school's first senior class, and everyone – students, teachers, parents, administration – is on edge.

Emotions overflow throughout the film. The normal roller coaster ride that accompanies high school girls is somehow magnified when the pressures of becoming the first one in the family to attend college collide with such harsh realities as poor grades, no food in the fridge, no power in the home, and inconsistent support from parental units. There is also the goal of winning the year-end Step competition against schools that have a more successful track record, and who likely don't face the extremes of Baltimore street violence and poverty that is normal for these girls each day.

Ms. Lipitz' film, a Sundance award winner, never backs away from the emotion of the moment and yet still manages to maintain the long-game perspective of trying to get each of these students graduated and accepted into college. She dives into the home lives of a few of these girls and though all of the parents want the best for the kids, it's quite obvious that the type of home support and structure varies widely even amongst these few we follow.

The real beauty of this environment is that the school provides structure, guidance and support all along the way. The Step coach pushes them hard daily towards being the best they can be going into the competition. The girls also push themselves and each other, and overcome some personality conflicts, all for the sake of a stronger team. The school principal has one-on-one meetings to light a fire when necessary, and you've likely never seen a more dedicated high school college counselor who doles out hugs and motivation in whatever dosage is necessary.

The key message here is that it takes a combination of inner-strength and drive, and a support system of family, teachers, coaches, administrators and friends, for kids to have a chance at finding a way to succeed at life … whether that's at Johns Hopkins or a local community college program. This is a special film with a real-world case study of students looking for a way up, and of those looking to provide the necessary boost.


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