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“step” movie review


If you could use a little hope for the future right about now, I’ve got just the movie for you.

Step, a documentary about the step dance team at The Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women, is empowering, timely and absolutely riveting. It’s one of my favorite movies of the year.

Director Amanda Lipitz follows the seniors at this public charter school as they apply to college and rehearse for the big step competition. The team has never won this competition and no one in these girls’ families has gone to college, so the pressure is on in both areas.

There’s a lot riding on this year for the school, as well, because its stated mission is to get every student into college and this is its first graduating class.

As we get to know three of the girls intimately, it is impossible not to feel invested in their success. I felt like they were my daughters, and I was rooting for them with tears in my eyes.

Amazingly, that’s what their teachers, counselors and coaches do, too. And that’s what struck me most about this movie.

The staff actually treats these girls as though they are their daughters. They push and nag them, they support them, they laugh and cry with them. They go to bat for them with admissions and financial aid officials. If all girls had people watching their backs like this, there’d be no stopping them.

The movie opens with Baltimore reeling from the death of Freddie Gray. Step gives these young women an outlet to express their rage, frustration and fear. They incorporate a “Hands up, don’t shoot” segment into their routine and send the message that Black Lives Matter.


Although the dancing itself is powerful, the movie is about so much more than the moves.

It’s about overcoming obstacles like poverty, dysfunctional families and society’s treatment of women of color.

It’s about the power of education. It’s about the power of sisterhood. It’s about the power of women.

By the end of the movie, I was bawling.

“Step taught me if you come together with a group of powerful women, the impact will be immense,” says one of the girls, and this is something that’s proven over and over again in every field. In fact, according to Women for Women, if you help enough women in one location, you can lift an entire community out of poverty.

I have no doubt the phenomenal Lethal Ladies of Step are just the ones to do it.


  1. We had a STEP team at my HS and I was on it. This sounds like an interesting movie, I will have to check it out.

  2. This sounds like such a fantastic and inspiring movie! Sounds like I need to get my tissues ready!

  3. This looked so good can’t believe I never got around to seeing it. Adding it to my Netflix list ASAP.

  4. I loved this movie! It was so inspiring. Yes, I bawled too!

  5. I hadn’t heard about this movie. Looks like one I would really love. Adding to Netflix.

  6. I cannot wait for this movie. I love these type of movies + the Step performances are always a plus.

  7. I am so so so excited to see this movie! I can only imagine the powerful messages and lesson that this script is going to teach us.

  8. If you help enough women, you can lift an entire community out of poverty. What powerful words and something we should take to our own communities!

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