Written by Josiah Aske
The movie “Step” is an enjoyable yet inspiring documentary with a powerful message. “Step” documents the senior year of three high school girls — Blessin Giraldo, Cori Grainger and Tayla Solomon — highlighting the highs and the lows of surviving in the inner city of Baltimore.
“I decided to make ‘Step’ because I wanted to help and inspire other people, to show something good that was happening in our country and to show success,” said Amanda Lipitz, the director of the nearly hour and a half documentary. The film introduces you to the families of the three seniors, giving a look at not only life at school but also the girls’ home environment. In the film, two of the school’s faculty members are documented: Gari “Coach G” McIntyre, the girls’ step coach, and Paula Dofat, the school’s college admission coordinator. Stepping is a style of dance where you make music with your body according to the film.
Additionally, these girls will have the prestigious title of being a part of the first graduating class of The Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women, which was founded in 2009. The all-girls school has a mission to have all the girls of the senior class not only be accepted to college, but also graduate from it. For many of the girls, including the three documented, this will be the first time someone in their families has gone to college. The girls are also a part of the school’s step team, which was founded by one of the girls.
You will get a firsthand look as the girls practice for the step competition, which will be the last time they step as a team, so losing is not an option. You will be on an emotional roller coaster as you see the girls deal with the stress of step practice, maintaining good grades, and accepting great accomplishments and big defeats such as college acceptance or denial letters. Have your senses tickled as you laugh at the three distinct personalities of the young girls and how they interact with family and friends. Some may cry at the extreme living conditions and lack of family support some of the girls face daily, or cry at the overwhelming love and dedication to the girls from the faculty members.
Overall, “Step” is an incredibly inspiring story. It will be in theaters.