You are not likely to see a more inspiring film this year.
Step, a documentary directed in fascinating fashion by Amanda Lipitz, should be considered for an Oscar nomination this year. Taking place in 2015, it is a moving account of a dance class taught at a Baltimore school for African American girls (Baltimore Leadership School for Women) that will capture your heart from beginning to end.
This is a story about a school and its leaders who are trying to provide hope to young girls living on the fringe of society. Most of these teenagers come from families who were fighting to find a way to put food on the table, and the school sought to use a dance class to participate in State competition where the students could benefit from teamwork.
You get to know many of these girls throughout the film, and you will embrace every one of them. The leaders of the school, all of whom deserve praise, had a simple goal, namely to have their students find motivation to pursue a college education that will give them access to a better world.
As I watched this film, I couldn’t help but remember teaching at an all black grade school here in Indianapolis in 1969-70. Unfortunately, the brighter students were put in a different class with an older teacher, and I was left with a group that everyone felt would leave school as soon as they reached the minimal age to do so.
I developed a closeness with all of these kids, and I must confess that I learned as much as I taught. As I sat watching Step, I know that I would have insisted on finding a way to take my entire class to watch this inspiring movie.
My mantra would have been, “Here’s your spaceship, kids. Now get on and explore the universe.”