STEP

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Amanda Lipitz’s de­but doc­u­men­tary fea­ture fol­lows the fa­mil­iar arc of the un­der­dog sports movie — the tale of peren­nial losers who mount one mag­i­cal dream sea­son and bid to win it all. But this one comes with an added nail-bit­ing di­men­sion. The stakes here are much more than a tro­phy. These kids are af­ter a life. The engine that drives the film is the Lethal Ladies, the step-danc­ing team at the Bal­ti­more Lead­er­ship School for Young Women. The film ze­roes in on three step­pers at this char­ter school: Tayla Solomon, Cori Grainger, and Blessin Gi­raldo. Step is a driv­ing, noisy, dy­nam­i­cally ex­pres­sive dance form. “If you can make it through step prac­tice,” Coach G preaches, “you can make it through life.” And that is re­ally what it’s all about in this ex­hil­a­rat­ing look at a group of young in­ner city women de­ter­mined to stake their own claim to their fu­tures. Rated PG. 83 min­utes. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Jonathan Richards)

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