Happy birthday Dirty Dancing: It’s still cool after 30 years

When Dirty Dancing first came out I was young. I didn’t see the thrill or allure of the movie. First off, people danced all the time on my South Bronx neighborhood block. Have you heard of merengue or salsa dancing? It was in vogue on my block before Jennifer Lopez proclaimed she was still Jenny from the Block. Why did I even mention that? She doesn’t sing that music. Back to Dirty Dancing. Second, the music in the movie was not novel to me. My mom played it all the time, especially on Saturdays. Ho hum. Third, I didn’t find Patrick Swayze all that dreamy. Honestly, though, I can’t remember who in pop culture I might have had a crush on. Now, I love Hugh Laurie, Juan Diego Botto and the new Aquaman. It was, what it was. I just wasn’t into Dirty Dancing.

Then the past five years or so, I came to appreciate Dirty Dancing. This time frame coincides with the fact that I’ve moved four times and had lots of travel throughout the country. All the times we moved, I always went out ahead. Meaning, I was alone with just a few pieces of furniture, a laptop, a television and cable. Guess what is more often than not on television at any given time. That’s right! Dirty Dancing! Thus, I would stay up late into the night in my large but vacant premises watching Dirty Dancing. I also caught a lot of Tom Cruise movies. But that’s another discussion. 

So it came to be that Johnny and Baby kept me company many nights the past four years. Each time, her naive enthusiasm to fight for what is right in the world, while annoying at first, has become a tear-jerker. I don’t believe the characters dated thereafter. But he was her first love and she probably went on to be some kind of activity at My Holyoke while he traveled the world finally self-empowered. I don’t need a sequel. It stands rightly as is.
Throughout all these nights, I’ve come to appreciate that lift. You know which one. Everyone wants to try it. Yet everyone is slightly afraid to try that run, leap, and lift. It truly is a leap of faith and trust. Although, thankfully not one you will see at company retreats.  One can dream,though. One can dream. 

4 replies »

  1. I went to see this film on a date when I was 18. I had no pre clue as we just did it on a whim in Birmingham. Loved it and still do 🙂


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