'Step' sisters work together in a city in need of heroes

New documentary profiles an all-female Baltimore high school step team that gives all they've got to dance and each other.
8:41 | 08/04/17

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for 'Step' sisters work together in a city in need of heroes
Thank you for joining us. The art of step. A combination of dance and percussion is rallying some young women at an inner city charter school. Helping they will find focus, confidence and family. Now bringing hope to an entire city. Here's 90 "Nightline" co-anchor. This is the sweet sound of swagger and substance. You're out there screaming and yelling. We are making music with our bodies. That's what I'm talking about! The sound of dreams no lger deferred. I like it because it's empowering. Every step. I can express myself in different ways during step. Step taught me how to be courageous, how to be a leader, how to be precise. A much needed life line for this 18-year-old, growing up in Baltimore in an often troubled city. I know it's tough. We're Baltimore city. Come home the no lights. Not having food in the refrigerator. Not having a refrigerator at all. When they come to step practice, all of those things are erased out of their minds. So that's why they can succeed. They can make it through step practice. They can make it through life. Audacity with an edge. Their story now chronicled in a new documentary called step. This is way bigger than stepping. It is about not excuses. Making sacrifices. Having a positive attitude. The film followshe lives of three seniors as a Baltimore leadership school for young women. Preparing for national competition, prepping for come. Are these grades your best? Why does the step team get your best and I don't? School is what got me out of Brooklyn. College is what will get you out of Baltimore. I their sirens outside. I grew up in ball. You hear a lot of sirens in Baltimore. Do you. But I think that's a part of culture. It makes us twice as strong. Life for these girls nts darkest moments would crush the average soul. But blessing, founder and cabinet of the team, is far from average. What was it like being that vulnerab vulnerable. You talk about being hungry sometimes. But sometimes the hardest things have the best results. I felt like why not open up? This is what people will relate to. This is what people need to hear and see. Blessing and the team caught the violent storm that made national headlines. Protesters angry -- The death of Freddy gray would send the city into chaos. Violence. Looting like no one had seen here since the '60s. This is one of our darkest days as a city. The spring of 2015 left the community desperate for heroes. ??? That summer, I went back to Baltimore with the mission of finding some. After all, it is the city where I grew up. My beloved home town. For the girls of Baltimore leadership school for young women -- We have to protest for our rights. What happened those fateful days would set the tone for the school year. When you all heard about Freddy gray, where were you? We were at school. Did you all get a text? It was a lot of stuff on social media. I received tweets, Instagram, alerts on snap chat. Saying what? Come and riot. We want to burn this down or burn down. When you wear the uniform, it stood for something. So our teachers and our principals wanted to let us know what we were going into before we left the building. Because we're downtown. Right in the heart of the city. But the lessons hard learned in that moment were later incorporated into the step routine. If step brings you so much joy, the audience so much joy, why go heavy with Freddy gray and black lives matter? We see injustices every day. That was not the first or the last. This is our opportunity to speak on it and show people youth do pay attention and we know what's going on and we want to get involved. Sometimes stomping and the clapping, that allows them to let out frustration and stress and anger. As the school's guidance counsellor, Paul knows the obstacles these girls face@ growing up in Baltimore. This is not just about being accepted to college, which we guarantee that hands down. It is about them having a success plan. In a city where one in four live in poverty, less than three quarters of the students finish high school. My mission is to make sure each and everyone of you graduate from college. Here it takes pushing, patience, and as we see in the film, downright pleading when necessary. This program is truly what she needs. If this girl doesn't get in this program -- We understand. I don't know. So I'll just asking, please to really, really consider. This is so unprofessional. I'm so sorry. When their girls walk through that door, they became my daughters and I mean that. And I would never do anything for them, with them or suggest anything to them or their parents that I didn't think was good enough. For Paula, it's personal. She was once in their shoes. But she didn't have a step team or a guidance counsellor who cares like she does. So you're able to give what you didn't get. And I know what it means to have no one who knows what to do. And it's not that the people around them don't care. They don't know what to do. As long as I have breath in my body, not one girl who will leave this school without what she needs. I have a lot of dreams. Maybe I dream too much. I'm passionate about dancing and step and choreographing everything. You encourage these kids to dream. Absolutely. If you don't have a dream, you have nothing. Isn't there some danger for some of these kids who come from circumstances that suggest they may not make it? No. If they go to this school, they're going to make it. Success is not an option. It is the expectation. For the past two years, the school has had 100% college acceptance rate. When I talk on these families in the tenth grade, and I said I'm thinking of making a documentary, the inspiration was to change the conversation about Baltimore. For the director, the film, a passion project nearly a decade in the making, the girls just in middle school when she met they will, the first class for the new charter school founded by her mother. There was a risk in a white woman telling the story of young black girls in a tough urban environment. But you did it. I've only been scared of it since the film has come out and the world has seen it. I was from Baltimore. They were all from Baltimore. That was the connection. And then it became much bigger than that. It became about showing a pocket of hope and joy embodied by these young women, by their mothers, by their families, by their schools, by their teachers. And it paid off. Blessing and the team confidently stepping toward successful on the day the movie premiered in Baltimore, feels of pride for themselves, and for their city. I feel like it is an accomplishment. Not only for me or my step sisters, but it is something Baltimore can be proud of. I'm putting this everywhere. Instagram, Facebook. Even rallying support for one of the women's strongest women, Michelle Obama tweeting, couldn't be more excited for these phenomenal women I met at signing day. Keep up the great work and congrats on step the movie. Each of these girls is going to college. Sisters stepping toward dreams, bigger and bolder than their best moves on stage. What do you want people to take from this documentary? Resilence, confidence, confidence and persistence. Because if you do those three, you'll be successful, you'll be whatever you want to be, you'll achieve your dreams and the possibilities are endless. In Baltimore, I'm Byron Pitts. Big thanks to Byron Pitts. And step premiers in theaters tomorrow.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"id":49027283,"title":"'Step' sisters work together in a city in need of heroes","duration":"8:41","description":"New documentary profiles an all-female Baltimore high school step team that gives all they've got to dance and each other.","url":"/Nightline/video/step-sisters-work-city-heroes-49027283","section":"Nightline","mediaType":"default"}