The Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women is attempting to rectify the struggle that young girls endure to be successful in school despite their home life and the influence of their Baltimore community. This documentary chronicles the trials and triumphs of the Senior girls on the high school's Step Team as they prepare to be the first in their families to go to college – and the first graduating class of The Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women. STEP is more than just a hobby for these girls, it is the outlet that keeps them united and fighting for their goals.
Director (and Tony Award-winning Broadway producer) Amanda Lipitz returns to the city of her birth to chronicle a year in the lives of the spirited and tenacious Lethal Ladies of BLSYW (LLOB), the school’s lauded step team. The film primarily follows three graduating seniors who have survived almost seven years of challenging academics and high expectations as they await the results of their college applications and practice for the most important competition of their step lives.
Filmed over more than a year, STEP goes into rehearsal halls, performance venues, the Baltimore community and the students’ homes, taking viewers inside the lives of the close-knit members of the step team. Raw and honest interviews with the girls, the faculty and the families reveal the sacrifices, determination and teamwork it has taken to come this far, and the role that stepping has played in helping them navigate seven years of laughter and tears, hard knocks and kinship, false starts and triumphs.
With fierce optimism, the team and their coach put together a riveting routine for the first-ever Baltimore all-city high-school step show — an emotional tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray, that brings to the fore the importance of stepping in their lives as they prepare to take on the world.
“The country watched Baltimore burn on television. I began to feel a kind of protective instinct for my hometown. There is so much good that is happening there. It became more important than ever to tell the world a different kind of story about Baltimore and about all the other schools I had visited that are inspiring hope and determination on a daily basis.”
Director Amanda Lipitz
"We started our stepping just seven years ago And ever since then we’ve been rocking the show."
— BLSYW Step Team Chant
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