STEP STEP A city fighting to save its youth, a step team rising to the challenge

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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.



  • Amanda Lipitz: Director/Producer
  • Steven Cantor: Producer
  • Dan Cogan: Executive Producer
  • Geralyn Dreyfous: Executive Producer
  • Jenny Raskin: Executive Producer
  • Scott Rudin: Executive Producer
  • Paul G. Allen: Executive Producer
  • Carole Tomko: Executive Producer
  • Ann Tisch: Executive Producer
  • Michael Flaherty: Executive Producer
  • Regina Scully: Executive Producer
  • Phil Glasser: Executive Producer
  • Barbara Dobkin: Executive Producer
  • Debbie McLeod: Executive Producer
  • Jay Sears: Executive Producer
  • Jamie Schutz: Co-Producer
  • Jannat Gargi: Consulting Producer
Where to See It

The Lovely, Lethal Ladies

The girls have their eyes set on two victories. The first is graduation and college. The second is the top spot at the Bowie State step competition where high-school teams from three states face off for the championship. After many years training, this will be their last chance to come out on top.


“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


Review: “Step” might be the most infectiously entertaining doc since Chris Rock’s “Good Hair.”



"We started our stepping just seven years ago And ever since then we’ve been rocking the show."

— BLSYW Step Team Chant

What is Step?

This film shows first-hand and up-close what can happen when young women have the independence, discipline and safety net to lead, be challenged and create a legacy for others. STEP is more than just a hobby for these girls, it is the outlet that keeps them united and fighting for their goals.


What is Stepping?

Learn more about step dancing


Watch the Lethal Ladies of the BLSYW peform


Stepping is a form of percussive dance in which the participant's entire body is used as an instrument to produce complex rhythms and sounds through a mixture of footsteps, spoken word, and hand claps.



STEP offers a rare and personal glimpse into the dreams and lives of a set of students and families who founded the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Woman (BLSYW) to cultivate future leaders in the city and beyond. The school’s “step” program is one of several vehicles students choose to find and channel their passion, power and purpose. Learn more about the BLSYW.


On The Right Track - The teachers and students of the BLSYW talk about why their school is special.


"Together we know that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."


A day in the life of a BLSYW girl!