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Step (2017)

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

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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

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A real life story

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Documentary

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements and some language | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

4 August 2017 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Степ-дэнс  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$146,053 (USA) (6 August 2017)

Gross:

$828,919 (USA) (21 August 2017)
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Quotes

Blessin Giraldo: If you come together with a group of powerful women, the impact will be immense.
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User Reviews

A doc to lift your spirits and make you believe in education.
17 August 2017 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"We make music with our bodies. That's some sick stuff." Blessin Giraldo

As an early member/founder of the Step program at The Baltimore Leadership for Young Women charter school, and at an early time in the program, Blessin can be forgiven for not yet understanding the profound effect step dancing will have on her life and those who touch it. Step is a classic example of an inspirational documentary that stays within good taste and history.

Although the rise of the impoverished but fortunate young girls is the stuff of stories told many times, this doc seems to be as fresh as the dancing that serves as the girls' catalyst for achievement in school and in applying for college. Paula Dofat, the school's academic adviser, becomes the real hero as she fights for the young black women's right to enter the college race with even odds.

Some dramatic contribution is provided by the girls' mothers, who often are fighting their own demons like unhelpful loves or deep suspicion about the whole affair, since more than one mom has never gone to an academic high school, much less applied to college. Tayla Solomon, a blunt achiever, successfully maneuvers her overbearing but loving corrections officer mother, who eventually has a salutary effect on all the girls.

The chief girl for the camera and the story, Blessin, is well chosen: Her good looks might remind you of Beyonce, her talent for step dancing is divine-given, and her struggle with mother and academics make her relatable to teens in need of her inspiration.

Director Amanda Lipitz, whose mother founded the school, uses the camera to tell the story in front and behind the dance. She never overdoes the cinematic eye candy of the dance; in fact she makes you want more as the girls show how dynamic and involving the beat and the movement are.

For sure, you will believe that education like this is the salvation of underprivileged kids, and it is. But funding it, that's another story, at least until we adults grow up from fantasies such as Mexican walls and tax cuts for the rich. In the meantime, see one of the best documentaries in the last few years and be guiltlessly inspired.


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