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25 Reasons Dirty Dancing Still Deserves Your Love


Dirty Dancing is the summer movie that keeps on giving.

Year after year people who grew up loving it like Silvia loves Mickey re-watch it frame-by-frame. Young girls looking for something to hone their teen crushes glom onto it.

It’s been 25 years since Johnny Castle got teen and pre-teen girls hyperventilating over his swivelling hips, solid-as-a-Ford abs and glorious mullet of beauty and volume.

Since the tomboyish hoofer, Baby, warmed our hearts with her "don’t take no for an answer" attitude, sass and infectious laugh.

Baby Wants to Enter the Peace Corps

Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze were totally adults when they starred in the movie, but their teen dream/poor adult love lives on.

I was going to go on a long speculative description of what the lives of these two crazy kids might be like now, but that would lessen the spotlight on their onscreen love.

Maybe there are still some sceptics out there, unsure of why they should love Dirty Dancing.

So here are 25 reasons why Dirty Dancing deserves our love, respect and admiration.

1. The name Johnny Castle is totally bad ass.

2. The name Baby is totally ridiculous, but also kind of bad ass.

3. The soundtrack is classic. Now even the weird 80s tracks that didn’t seem to fit in at the time are retro.

4. Catskills resort stereotypes. And by this I mean mostly amazingly entertaining old people who’ve been going to the same resort for 40 years.

5. Jerry Orbach! Enough said.

6. Normally, jeans are just a boring element that a costume designer should be ashamed for including in wardrobe. Not in the case of Baby’s cut-offs and rolled-up denims. These are cute -- nay -- adorable jeans.

7. Abortion plot line! Honestly, it’s been 25 years and it’s rare for there to be an abortion plot line in a movie that isn’t horribly offensive and moralizing. More points for this dancing movie!

8. “I Feel Pretty,” as sung horribly by Baby’s sister Lisa, is one of the best, most-accurate talent show moments ever put on screen.

9. “I carried a watermelon,” the line that made every awkward teenage girl feel like she was Baby Houseman.

10. “Nobody puts Baby in the corner,” the line that made every awkward girl churn a little in her underpants because she didn’t want to be in a corner and if she had to be it would be best if Patrick Swayze and his swivelling hips butted her out of there.

11. Johnny Castle’s tight, tight, tight pants. These pants, in their tightness, made the pants of any viewer also feel quite tight.

12. “She’s Like the Wind,” Patrick Swayze’s extreme cheese-fest top 40 hit, is beautiful in its own special way.

13. Emily Gilmore! I mean Kelly Bishop plays Baby’s mother to sheer, rich lady perfection.

14. One more time for Jerry Orbach, actually

15. Penny’s dance outfits. Red leotard with gold belt, shiny gold dance shoes, the peach chiffon dress, the red number with the tie at the back, black leotard with a gold belt! She wears all the elements of greatness: shiny, gold, tight, high cut, sheer. Just all of it!

16. Summer love. Even the harshest cynic has to believe there’s hope for a little romance after seeing these two crazy (adult) kids and their hot, hot chemistry. C’mon.

17. Dancing in the rain.

18. Dancing in a creek.

19. The lighting in the dance studio that makes Baby and Johnny look like the most attractive, young people that ever learned to love.

20. The hair. Everyone sort of tried their best to get their hair to be 60s styled, but there was no denying the 80s influence and it's charming and funny and completely non-period specific.

21. Sleazy villain/waiter Robbie who cheats on Baby’s sister and knocks up the lovely Penny only to leave her pregnant and in need of a back alley abortion. He’s the perfect dirtbag and helps underline the feminism of the film. Thanks Robbie, you ass!

22. It’s the 60s and Baby wants to enter the Peace Corps. Sigh.

23. Baby and Johnny’s hot love scene, complete with heartfelt monologue, sexy dancing and shirtless Swayze. It was hot enough and yet safe enough for even third graders. Perfect.

24. Poor people are people too! Even dancers.

25. Dirty dancing. The first dance scene, the secret dance party, is epically eye-opening. Nothing screams ‘coming-of-age’ like walking into a room full of gorgeous, erotically charged dancers grinding up on each other. It’s magical. Like a door opening onto dirty Narnia.


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