Baby (Jennifer Grey) is one summer away from joining the Peace Corps. It’s vacation time for the family but Baby is disappointed when her parents choose to go to the sleepy resort Kellermans. Her luck turns around, and her summer awakens. Johnny (Patrick Swayze), at first reluctantly, agrees for Baby to be his new partner, and the two fall in love. Baby’s father forbids her from seeing Johnny. Baby is determined to help him perform the last big dance of the summer.
This film has become an iconic, turning of age phenomenon! It makes all girls want to date a Johnny, and even take up dance lessons!
Over the last 30 years, we’ve learnt many secrets from the film. Firstly how Patrick slipped a disc in the famous lift scene. The many copyright problems with songs. The sour relationship between Jennifer and Patrick. Also, the fact the leaves had to be painted when they started to turn brown in the Autumn.
The greatness of this film has been marred with sadness after the passing of the legend that is Patrick Swayze. The actor lost his battle with cancer in 2009 at the age of 57. Patrick was not only a superstar and a much-loved actor though. He loved horses and was an accomplished rider. After training in New York City as a dancer and with his wife by his side, Patrick’s extensive dance career spanned the decades.
There is so much more to this film than the amazing choreography. The film carries an impressive soundtrack, and an Oscar win for the famous song ‘I’ve Had The Time of My Life’
The fact that Johnny was so reluctant to teach Baby to dance was endearing. His use of meaningless words to teach, for example, “Feel the music”, “gu-gumm”, “spaghetti arms”, “My space. Your space” are now words that will be forever used to describe a feeling, a heartbeat, will have us all falling madly in love with him again and again!
These turned out to be a very effective way of teaching and are still used today in dance halls all over the world. The best part of that scene is when those twirling white plimsolls magically transform into shiny heels!
The film also carries a message about the brutal class barriers that existed! Even between the staff. Working together was difficult, it wasn’t just a bad attitude from the guests to employees! The waiters were from Yale and looked down on ‘the dance people’
All this helps Baby’s transformation from a mild Daddy’s girl into a woman.
The film will keep its position as a must-see film and the first choice for girly night viewing and will be for many years to come!
The one thing we’ve all learnt from this film is to follow your heart, love is impartial, always dance like no ones watching and no one puts Baby in the corner!
If you love Dirty Dancing leave a comment or tweet @CelebMix with your favourite scenes from the film.