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GUARANTEED FRESH as of Friday September 22, 2017 at 9:24 am Listings are for Friday 9/22 through Thursday 9/28

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Step

This entertaining and occasionally joyous documentary traces the senior year of an embattled step dance team at an all-girls high school in inner-city Baltimore. The narrative settles on a trio of stars: Blessin (the amped-up team captain), Cori (the shy valedictorian dreaming of Johns Hopkins) and Tayla (the occasionally mortified daughter of a single stage mother/corrections officer). Like its subjects, the film spends most of its time worrying about the pressures of high school life and the additional dangers of life for African-American teens in post-Freddie Gray Baltimore. The step dance sequences (a syncopated mix of tap and breakdance popular in traditionally black Southern colleges) is glimpsed mostly in rehearsal as the girls prepare for their final tournament. Admittedly, the filmmakers could have dug deeper on all fronts. But the overall message--about tough-minded kids trying to better themselves and dedicated educators trying to help them--is a captivating one. 84 minutes PG.