Submitted by Maddie Mosley for PhxSoul.com
“I think every single human being right now needs some joy and some hope… And there is an innate joy in these young women, and their teachers, and their coach, and their college counselor and their mothers, that truly must be shown to the world. And we need it. We need to be reminded that in our American cities, there are these pockets of joy and hope. And they’re alive and well, and we just have to look for it. It’s not that hard to find. We just have to look for it.”
Amanda Lipitz, the director and producer of “STEP,” shared what she thought all viewers can take away from her documentary, whether or not they are familiar with the art of stepping. Being completely inspired by the women and everything involved in her making of the film, she says ultimately, she made it for them. She wanted them to have something to look back on and something that allowed them to tell their story.
“STEP,” based on a true-life story, follows the Lethal Ladies of Baltimore, a high school step team in hopes of bringing home a step championship, along with being accepted into college. Along the way, they face challenges but also breakthroughs, that strengthen their sisterhood and continue to teach them what it means to strive for excellence both in and out of the stepping world. While life isn’t always easy, they have the support of their coaches, teachers, counselors, families and most of all, each other.
Cori Grainger, step team members and the school’s valedictorian, shares how all of this support and the making of this documentary, has impacted her life.
“I think one of the most important things that I’ve learned across this entire journey is, don’t be afraid to actually take risks and try to pursue your dreams. I think that’s something that’s really important for everybody to know because a lot of times we set big goals for ourselves, but when it comes time to actually make them come into fruition, you bet we talk ourselves out of it and that’s something I learned not to do throughout this whole process.”
The Lethal Ladies are no strangers when it comes to diligence and tenacity. Not only are they able to balance what goes on with their step team, but on top of that, their school lives as well. The Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women, where the girls attend, believes in success in the classroom first and foremost, above all. This is why it was and still is the main goal, to make sure that all of their students leave, with plans to head to college after graduation. The 2016 and 2017 classes, earned 100% college acceptance.
Capturing the audience at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, the film won the Special Jury Prize for Inspirational Filmmaking. “STEP” releases in Phoenix, August 11th at Harkins Camelview 14, located in Scottsdale’s Fashion Square.
PhxSoul.TV reporter Maddie Mosley is currently studying Broadcast Journalism and Spanish at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She is an aspiring journalist, producer and videographer, looking to uplift and motivate those around her. Click here to learn more about Mosley.