Baltimore dance documentary 'Step' wins NAACP Image Award

“Step,” a film about the step team at the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women, won an NAACP Image Award for outstanding documentary.

Directed by Amanda Lipitz, the film follows three members of the Lethal Ladies step team as they focus on winning a dance competition and graduating high school. It was shot in the months after the death of Freddie Gray in April 2015.


The film beat out “Whose Streets?” “The Rape of Recy Taylor,” “I Called Him Morgan,” and “Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities” at the 49th NAACP Image Awards, which was hosted by Anthony Anderson on what would have been Martin Luther King Jr.’s 89th birthday.

A handful of local figures or projects were nominated but didn’t win in their categories.

Baltimore photographer Devin Allen was nominated for outstanding literary work by a debut author for his book, “A Beautiful Ghetto,” a collection of 100 black-and-white photographs of Baltimore life.

Author Ta-Nehisi Coates was up for outstanding nonfiction literary work for “We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy.” The Baltimore native’s collection of essays was published in October.

“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” the HBO docudrama about the Johns Hopkins patient whose cells were developed into the first immortal cell line, received several nominations, including outstanding television movie, limited series or dramatic special. Oprah Winfrey was also nominated for her portrayal of Lacks’ daughter.

For a full list of winners and nominees, visit

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

The premiere of the documentary "Step,"  a film about the members of the Lethal Ladies step team, from the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women. (Baltimore Sun video)