Step Sisters is a documentary following the lives of three young step-dancers and their emotional journey from the tough streets of Baltimore to the even tougher road of trying to get into college.
While attending an all girls charter school in Baltimore, Maryland, featured dancers Tayla Solomon, Blessing Giraldo, Cori Grainer and their step team members recount their harrowing experiences growing up in an area riddled with drugs, violence and poverty. Some spoke of having a lack of food and other basic necessities, while others, in a recent feature on ABC’s “Nightline”, recalled how the police homicide of Freddie Gray and resulting civil uprising impacted them and their city.
However, in spite of these major obstacles that they faced along with other harsh realities of the inner-city, the girls still managed to juggled their academic demands with the demands of the team and all go onto college. (Some of them the first in their families to do so). In an area where 1 in 4 live live poverty and less than 70% finish high school, a great testament to the charter schools success is its 100% college acceptance rate.
With the support of their mentors and their team, the girls have persevered in the face of such adversity, and have learned to find strength in overcoming life’s challenges. They have all given credit in part to the support from their team and their love for it as being a constant force in getting them through life’s hardships.
Step trailer #1 – Movie clips Indie – directed by Amanda Lipitz
Stepping or step-dancing is a dance in which the entire body is used as a percussive instrument, creating complex rhythms and sounds from an array of hand claps, foot stomps and spoken word. Dynamic formations and vocalizations tell powerful stories of the past and present.
As a viable way of releasing stress, aggression and other pent up emotions literally using one’s voice to cry out, while beating ones chest and stomping ones feet, stepping is a literal outlet for physical, vocal and artistic expression.
One of the primary goals of the film is to show a different side of Baltimore than what is typically shown in the media, but rather highlight the community connection and unity amongst the students and faculty. It also shows how powerful dance can be, and shows precisely how it can be a healing and unifying force. The documentary, which was just released for limited showings this week, highlights the tremendous focus and drive of the students, along with the selfless dedication and commitment & passion of the administrators, who often have to go above and beyond the call of duty just to get the job done. It also takes audiences deeper into the world of step dance, exploring its intricacies, history and relevance to social issues of the past and present.
Limited tickets for Step can be purchased via: