Stop, Step, and Listen! The Lethal Ladies of BLSYW Are Off to Nationals
Jun 15, 2018
Stop, step, and listen! Have you heard? The Lethal Ladies of Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women are commanding attention as they step onto the 2018 National Stepping League Championship stage for the first time ever. Even Natalie Portman is paying attention.
The hitMAKERS had everyone on their feet when they performed at this year's 2018 MAKERS Conference. Since then, this fierce sisterhood has really stepped up their game qualifying for Nationals for the first time in the school's history. On Friday, the group of 9th and 10th graders are headed to the two-day national championships sponsored by MAKERS in Atlanta.
In case you forgot, the Lethal Ladies are a step team from the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women (BLSYW), a college preparatory school that focuses on teaching leadership skills to girls from inner-city Baltimore. Many of the young women who attend the school come from low-income families. For these girls, the Lethal Ladies step team is not only a loyal sisterhood. It is also a ticket to college scholarships and the opportunity to fulfill their potential.
However, this isn't the first time these young women have caught national attention. The inspiring stories of these resilient sisters has been documented in the film "Step: The Movie." Filmmaker Amanda Lipitz followed a handful of team members as they 'stepped' into their senior year at BLSYW under the watchful eye of Lethal Ladies coach, Gari McIntyre.
We spoke to Coach G to gain some insight into why reaching Nationals is such a big deal for this year's step team.
MAKERS: You mentioned that this is the biggest accomplishment in the team's history. Can you elaborate on the importance?
Coach G: My biggest goal was to make it to a national competition and just place. It's a big accomplishment for a step coach, and to have it 100 percent sponsored? Wow! We are just blessed!
Now as long as the team has been in existence they have never tried to go to a national step competition. This team is full of 10th and 9th graders who are continuing a legacy and building a reputation on the tail end of the movie.
MAKERS: How are you hoping to impact the city of Baltimore?
Coach G: We want to do more community service and outreach about the art of stepping. We will continue to use our voices to talk about issues that people do not want to talk about. 2016 it was Black Lives Matter, in 2017 it was revolutionaries, in 2018 stop gun violence, and in 2019 we want to raise awareness on issues that impact women on a global scale.
Although the Lethal Ladies did not place at this year's nationals, the girls were ecstatic for the opportunity to step into the spotlight once more.
You can watch the Lethal Ladies' full performance at The 2018 MAKERS Conference here.