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The intimacy that audiences are finding so moving is the result of a close connection behind the scenes. Lipitz has known the girls since they were 11, when they started at at the school in sixth grade. A Tony-winning Broadway producer, she also has made about 30 short films about young women who are the first in their families to go to college. She started shooting at the Baltimore school as a favor to her mother, who founded it. When Lipitz met Giraldo, the two immediately clicked — the young girl’s dream is to one day be on Broadway. And then, after Giraldo launched the school’s step team, she insisted that Lipitz film the group.

The director wasn’t that familiar with step, but as soon as she saw a pointe shoe fittings practice she understood the power of it, It felt like a musical, Watching the performance reminded her of “the way you feel when (characters) expresses themselves through song,” she says, “That’s what they were doing with step.”, Viewers can see what she’s talking about in the movie, The fiery Giraldo channels her emotions into her athletic routines, and Grainger, who’s bookish and shy, uses step as a release, It’s the time when she can be as bombastic as she could ever want..

Lipitz filmed occasionally during the girls’ early high school years, teaching herself how to shoot dance routines while the team got increasingly comfortable with her. Then she spent their senior year getting as much footage as she could. That included time at home with families, on dates, during church services and during many meetings with the school’s effervescent but demanding college counselor, Paula Dofat, who also bared her soul. In one of the documentary’s most poignant scenes, she breaks down to a college-admissions officer, explaining that, if the school doesn’t give Giraldo a chance, the consequences could be dire. “This is so unprofessional,” she admits through tears.

At the time, she had forgotten the cameras were rolling, As soon as she remembered, she requested that Lipitz ditch the footage, She’s not a crier, she insists, “Of course, there goes Amanda finding my one soft moment of the year where I’m bawling my eyes out,” she says in an interview, But now she’s glad the scene made it in, The scene takes her back pointe shoe fittings to the powerful feelings rushing through her — how afraid she was to let Giraldo down; how letting Giraldo down meant failing not just the other girls in the school but also — “and this sounds really grandiose” — the larger community..

On a press tour with the girls, she’s still holding them to high standards. Part of her job now is to keep them grounded amid all the publicity and accolades, and experiences like meeting musician John Legend backstage during the Park City, Utah, women’s march. Part of that is taking time every day to talk about what they’re grateful for — and not just the superficial stuff. “You have to really think about it,” Doufat insists. “Staying in a nice hotel doesn’t make the cut.”.

The girls are clearly grateful for the opportunity to connect with people across the country, even though sometimes they have to educate audiences about what their urban upbringing was really like, The way Giraldo sees it, “Step” gives viewers an excuse to be as vulnerable as the characters they’ve gotten to know, People who might otherwise be too proud find themselves making surprising admissions about all they’ve been through, “We don’t go to Q&As that are full of girls or boys like us,” Giraldo says, “It’s a different crowd in every city, and to see people all cry and say pointe shoe fittings they relate to your situation — I feel like we’re breaking down barriers.”..

Related ArticlesTV this week: Patricia Arquette shines in ‘The Act’ on HuluWendy Williams is right about Howard Stern losing his edge, fans and critics sayReview: Pink Floyd legend delivers a must-see concert experienceGavin Newsom muses on Kimberly Guilfoyle dating Donald Trump Jr.James Gunn will direct third Guardians movie after allSTATESVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Channing Tatum has hosted an impromptu dance party in a convenience store at a North Carolina gas station. The “Magic Mike” star stopped by the Sunoco in the town of Statesville on Tuesday night for a coffee drink and a candy bar. He bantered with the cashier and later danced with her to the tune of Nas’ “If I Ruled The World.”.

So, what are you doing this weekend? Here are some critic’s picks, from red-hot country star Sam Hunt to an Indian festival to old-pals Steve Martin and Martin Short, Sights, sounds, flavors of India: From fashion to films to food, the Festival of Globe’s annual India Day Festival celebrates all facets of Indian culture — and this year is special, as it’s the 70th anniversary of India’s independence, The jam-packed FOG schedule culminates Sunday in a grand parade of floats and cars in Fremont, First up is the Aug, 10-11 movie fest and an Aug, 11 fashion fest; then the focal point becomes 39439 Paseo Padre Parkway, where 250 booths will set up for the weekend-long cultural and health fair and carnival (mela), A dance competition runs all day Aug, 12, and the finals of FOG Idol will be Aug, 13, The parade sets out pointe shoe fittings at 11 a.m, Aug, 13, Details: Free admission; 10 a.m.-7 p.m, Saturday-Sunday; www.fogsv.com.— Linda Zavoral, Staff..

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