IN 'STEP,' FINDING A LANGUAGE FOR HOPES, FEARS AND DREAMS
Gia Kourlas | August 8, 2017 | New York Times
When Amanda Lipitz started filming the girls at the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women, they were 11. It was two years before Blessin Giraldo, by then a formidable eighth grader, approached her.
“She said, ‘Next time you come to school with the cameras, you need to film our step team,’” Ms. Lipitz recalled. “‘You’re going to love us.’”
Ms. Lipitz, 37, a Baltimore native and Broadway producer, was making short films about the progress of Baltimore Leadership, a charter school, which her mother started in part to help get young women into college.
Though she had heard about the step team — Ms. Giraldo, now 18, formed it when she was in sixth grade — Ms. Lipitz knew almost nothing about step, a percussive-movement tradition that uses the entire body as well as the voice and is popular in African-American fraternities and sororities. But Ms. Lipitz knows good theater when she sees it.