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Dirty Dancing

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This article is about the 1987 romantic drama film. For other uses, see Dirty Dancing (disambiguation).
Dirty Dancing
Dirty Dancing.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Emile Ardolino
Produced by Linda Gottlieb
Written by Eleanor Bergstein
Music by
Cinematography Jeffrey Jur
Edited by Peter C. Frank
Great American Films Limited Partnership
Distributed by Vestron Pictures
Release dates
  • August 21, 1987 (1987-08-21)
Running time
100 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $6 million
Box office $214 million

Dirty Dancing is a 1987 American romantic drama film. Written by Eleanor Bergstein and directed by Emile Ardolino, the film stars Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in the lead roles, as well as Cynthia Rhodes and Jerry Orbach.

Originally a low-budget film by a new studio, Great American Films Limited Partnership,[2] and with no major stars (except Broadway legend Orbach in a supporting role), Dirty Dancing became a massive box office hit. As of 2009, it had earned over $214 million worldwide.[3] It was the first film to sell more than a million copies on home video,[3] and the Dirty Dancing soundtrack created by Jimmy Ienner generated two multi-platinum albums and multiple singles, including "(I've Had) The Time of My Life", which won both the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Original Song, and a Grammy Award for best duet.[4] The film spawned a 2004 reboot, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, as well as a stage version which has had sellout performances in Australia, Europe, and North America.

In 2011, a Dirty Dancing remake was announced with Kenny Ortega, who choreographed the original film, as the director.[5] However, on June 8, 2012, Lionsgate announced they were postponing the reboot. Citing casting reasons, the remake release was put off until 2014 at the earliest. In February 2015, it was scheduled to be a TV movie.[6] However, the remake was officially canceled in July 2015.[7]

Since 2009, there has been a Dirty Dancing Festival in Lake Lure, North Carolina.[8]


In the summer of 1963, Frances "Baby" Houseman (Jennifer Grey) is vacationing with her affluent Jewish American family at Kellerman's,[9][10] a family friendly resort in the Catskill Mountains. Baby is the youngest of two daughters, and plans to attend Mount Holyoke College to study economics in underdeveloped countries and then enter the Peace Corps. She was named after Frances Perkins, the first woman in the U.S. Cabinet. Her father, Jake (Jerry Orbach), is the personal physician and friend of Max Kellerman (Jack Weston), the resort proprietor. Baby is befriended by Max's snotty, sarcastic grandson Neil (Lonny Price).

Baby meets and develops a crush on the resort's dance instructor, Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze). Johnny is the leader of the resort's working-class entertainment staff. Baby encounters encounters Johnny's kindhearted cousin Billy on a walk through the resort grounds, and helps him carry watermelons to the staff quarters. The staff hold secret after-hours parties in their quarters, and Baby is surprised by the "dirty dancing" they engage in.[11] Intrigued, Baby receives a brief, impromptu dance lesson from Johnny.

Baby and Neil go to the kitchens for a late-night snack, where Baby finds Johnny's dance partner, Penny Johnson (Cynthia Rhodes), huddled in a dark corner in tears. Baby makes an excuse to Neil and runs to find Billy. Billy and Johnny carry Penny back to her quarters. Billy explains that Penny is pregnant by Robbie Gould (Max Cantor), a womanizing waiter who is also dating Baby's older sister, Lisa (Jane Brucker) and several other female guests. Robbie plans to do nothing about the pregnancy or give Penny money for a quiet, although illegal, abortion. Johnny offers Penny his salary, but she says it won't be enough, and she won't take his pay anyway.

Baby borrows the money from her father to pay for Penny's illegal abortion. Jake agrees to give the money to Baby even though she says she can't tell him what it's for. Jake has always trusted his daughter.

Penny refuses the money at first, and Johnny treats Baby's offer with disdain since she ran to her rich daddy for help. Penny finally agrees, but says there is another issue. Johnny and Penny perform a weekly dance at the Sheldrake, another nearby resort. Penny will miss her performance if she goes for the abortion, and they will forfeit their salary for the season. Billy suggests that Baby fill in for her. Johnny scoffs at this, which overcomes Baby's initial resistance. Billy and Penny insist that Johnny can teach anyone to dance. Johnny begins to teach Baby the Mambo, and the two spend several awkward practice sessions together. Baby gradually begins to improve, and a romantic attraction grows between them.

Billy takes Penny to a traveling doctor for the abortion while Baby and Johnny perform at the Sheldrake Hotel. Their performance is mostly successful, although Baby is too nervous to accomplish the dance's climactic lift.

Johnny and Baby return to Kellerman's and find Penny in agony. Billy explains that the "doctor" turned out to be a back-alley hack who caused severe damage to Penny and left her in agonizing pain. Penny says she can't go to the hospital because they would notify the police. Baby brings her father to help Penny, but when Johnny takes responsibility for Penny, Jake mistakenly takes Johnny for the father. Jake treats Penny, but is angry that Baby used his money to pay for the procedure, and forbids Baby to associate with Johnny or his friends. He is angry and hurt because Baby lied to him and betrayed his trust.

Baby goes to Johnny to apologize for the way her father treated him. Johnny says it doesn't matter, because people like him don't matter. He says he admires people like her who think they can change the world. Baby protests and says she's afraid of many things - especially the idea that she may never again feel the way she feels when she's with him. She asks him to dance with her, and they share an intimate "dirty dance" that leads to lovemaking.

Jake, still angry and ignoring his daughter, tells his family they'll be leaving early over breakfast. Lisa protests, because she wants to sing at the end-of-season talent show. Jake gives in, and Baby continues to see Johnny despite her father's warning. She pulls Johnny off the footpath when her father is nearby, and Johnny is hurt that she won't stand up for him to her father. Robbie sees them during their argument and makes a derisive remark about "going slumming" with the staff (a referral to his own affair with Penny). Johnny jumps off the porch and beats Robbie up.ogether and makes a rude comment about Baby. This causes Johnny to become angry and beat him up.

An iconic scene from the dancing finale[12][13]

Johnny is accused of stealing a wallet from Moe Pressman, a Kellerman's guest, and is unable to provide a verifiable alibi. To save Johnny from being fired, Baby confesses that Johnny could not committed the theft because she was with him in his cabin that night. Johnny is cleared of the theft after it's revealed that Mr. and Mrs. Schumacher stole Moe's wallet. Max fires Johnny anyway for having an affair with a guest. Baby and Johnny embrace and bid farewell, saying they'll never regret their affair.

Baby and her parents watch the end-of-season talent show. Jake bids farewell to Robbie, and wishes him well in medical school. He gives Robbie an envelope of money to help with his school expenses. In turn, Robbie then thanks him for helping with the Penny situation and says you never know with her kind if she's telling the truth, but it might have been his. Jake is disgusted and yanks the envelope away.

The staff of Kellerman's and guest are singing together when the door opens and Johnny walks in. He's returned to do the last dance of the season.[14]

Baby and Johnny dance a provocative duet and the other "dirty dancers" join in. Baby runs to Johnny and executes the illusive lift move they'd practiced. The Dirty Dancers pull guests from their seat to join in the celebration. Jake apologizes to Johnny for thinking he got Penny pregnant, and reconciles with Baby. The film ends with the entire cast dancing joyously to "[[(I've Had) The Time of My Life].]"



  • "Note": Actress Jane Brucker wrote the song "Hula Hana".[15]



Dirty Dancing is in large part based on screenwriter Eleanor Bergstein's own childhood: she is the younger daughter of a Jewish doctor from New York, spent summers with her family in the Catskills, participated in "Dirty Dancing" competitions, and was herself called "Baby" as a girl. In 1980, Bergstein wrote a screenplay for the Michael Douglas film, It's My Turn. However, the producers cut an erotic dancing scene from the script, much to her dismay. She then conceived a new story, focused almost exclusively on dancing. In 1984, she pitched the idea to MGM executive Eileen Miselle, who liked it and teamed Bergstein with producer Linda Gottlieb. They set the film in 1963, with the character of Baby based on Bergstein's own life, and the character of Johnny based on the stories of Michael Terrace, a dance instructor whom Bergstein met in the Catskills in 1985 while she was researching the story.[citation needed] She finished the script in November 1985, but management changes at MGM put the script into turnaround, or limbo.

Bergstein then shopped the script around to other studios but was repeatedly rejected, until she brought it to Vestron Pictures, the newly formed studio division of Stamford, Connecticut, based Vestron Inc., the leading independent home video distribution company.[citation needed] While honing their pitch to Vestron, Gottlieb and Bergstein chose as the film's director Emile Ardolino, who had won the 1983 Academy Award for the documentary, He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin'. Ardolino had never directed a feature film but was extremely passionate about the project; he even sent a message from where he was sequestered on jury duty, insisting that he was the best choice as director. The team of Gottlieb, Bergstein, and Ardolino then presented their vision for the film to Vestron's president, Jon Peisinger, and the company's vice president for production, Mitchell Cannold. By the end of the meeting, Peisinger had given the project the "green light" to become Vestron's first feature film production. The approved film was budgeted at the relatively low amount of $5 million at a time when the average cost for a film was $12 million.[16]

For choreographer, Bergstein chose Kenny Ortega, who had been trained by Gene Kelly.[17] For a location, they did not find anything suitable in the Catskills (as many of the resorts had been shut down at that point), so they decided on a combination of two locations: Lake Lure, North Carolina and the Mountain Lake Hotel near Roanoke, Virginia, and with careful editing made it look like all shooting was done in the same area.[18]


Director Ardolino was adamant that they choose dancers who could also act, as he did not want to use the "stand-in" method that had been used with Flashdance (1983). For the female lead of Frances "Baby" Houseman, Bergstein chose the 26-year-old Jennifer Grey, daughter of the Oscar winning actor and dancer Joel Grey (e.g., of the film Cabaret (1972)), who, like her father, was a trained dancer. They then sought a male lead, initially considering 20-year-old Billy Zane, who had the visual look desired (originally the Johnny character was to be Italian and have a dark exotic look), but initial dancing tests when he was partnered with Grey did not meet expectations. The next choice was 34-year-old Patrick Swayze, who had been noticed for his roles in Grandview, U.S.A. (1984) and Red Dawn (1984), in which he had costarred with Grey. He was a seasoned dancer, with experience from the Joffrey Ballet. The producers were thrilled with him, but his agent was opposed to the idea. However, Swayze read the script, liked the multi-level character of Johnny, and took the part anyway, and Johnny was changed from being Italian to Irish. Grey was initially not happy about the choice, as she and Swayze had had difficulty getting along on Red Dawn, but when they did their dancing screen test, the chemistry between them was obvious. Bergstein described it as "breathtaking".[19]

Other casting choices were Broadway actor Jerry Orbach as Dr. Jake Houseman, Baby's father; and Jane Brucker as Lisa Houseman, her older sister. Bergstein also attempted to cast her friend, sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer, to play Mrs. Schumacher, and Joel Grey as her husband. However, Westheimer backed out when she learned the role involved being a thief. The role went instead to 79-year-old Paula Trueman, and Joel Grey was not cast. Another role went to Bergstein's friend, New York radio personality "Cousin Brucie". She initially wanted him to portray the social director but then later asked him to play the part of the magician. The role of the social director went to the then unknown Wayne Knight (of later Seinfeld and 3rd Rock from the Sun fame).[20] The part of Baby's mother was originally given to Lynne Lipton, who is briefly visible in the beginning, when the Houseman family first pulls into Kellerman's (she is in the front seat for a few seconds; her blonde hair is the only indication), but she became ill during the first week of shooting and was replaced by actress Kelly Bishop, who had already been cast to play Vivian Pressman, the highly sexed resort guest. Bishop moved into the role of Mrs. Houseman, and the film's assistant choreographer Miranda Garrison took on the role of Vivian.[21][22]


A typical family resort in the Catskill Mountains

Principal photography for Dirty Dancing took place in Lake Lure, North Carolina, and Mountain Lake, Virginia. Scenes in Lake Lure were filmed at the old Boys Camp, which is now a private, residential community known as Firefly Cove. These scenes included the interior dancing scenes, Baby carrying the watermelon and practicing on the signature stairs, Johnny's cabin, the staff cabins, the golf scene where Baby asks her father for $250, and the "lift" in the water. Scenes filmed at Mountain Lake included the dining scenes, Kellerman's Hotel, the beach games, Penny crying in the kitchen, and the Houseman family's cabins.[citation needed]

The tight schedule allowed only two weeks for rehearsal and 44 days for filming, as it was already the tail end of summer. The cast stayed in the same hotel at Mountain Lake Lodge in Pembroke, Virginia and at the 1927 Lake Lure Inn & Spa in Lake Lure, N.C. Rehearsals quickly turned into disco parties involving nearly every cast member, even non-dancers such as Jack Weston.[citation needed]

The dancing and drinking went on almost non-stop and, immersed in the environment, the lead actors, Grey and Swayze, began identifying with their characters. Bergstein built upon this, encouraging the actors to improvise in their scenes. She also built the sexual tension by saying that no matter how intimate or "grinding" the dance steps, that none of the dancers were to have any other kind of physical contact with each other for the next six months.[19]

Filming started on September 5, 1986 but was plagued by the weather, which ranged from pouring rain to sweltering heat. The outside temperature rose to 105 °F (41 °C), and with all the additional camera and lighting equipment needed for filming, the temperature inside could be as high as 120 °F (49 °C). According to choreographer Kenny Ortega, on one day 10 people passed out within 25 minutes of shooting. The elderly Paula Trueman collapsed and was taken to the local emergency room to be treated for dehydration. Patrick Swayze also required a hospital visit; insisting on doing his own stunts, he repeatedly fell off the log during the "balancing" scene and injured his knee so badly he had to have fluid drained from the swelling.[19]

Delays in the shooting schedule pushed filming into the autumn, which required the set decorators to spray-paint the autumn leaves green. The uncooperative weather then took a different turn, plunging from oppressive heat to down near 40 °F (4 °C), causing frigid conditions for the famous swimming scene in October. The crew wore warm coats, gloves, and boots. Swayze and Grey stripped down to light summer clothing, to repeatedly dive into the cold water.[18] Despite her character's enjoyment, Grey later described the water as "horrifically" cold, and she might not have gone into the lake, except that she was "young and hungry".[21]

Relations between the two main stars varied throughout production. They had already had trouble getting along in their previous project, Red Dawn (1984) and worked things out enough to have an extremely positive screen test, but that initial cooperation soon faded, and they were soon "facing off" before every scene.[19] There was concern among the production staff that the animosity between the two stars would endanger the filming of the love scenes. To address this, producer Bergstein and director Ardolino forced the stars to re-watch their initial screen-tests—the ones with the "breathtaking" chemistry. This had the desired effect, and Swayze and Grey were able to return to the film with renewed energy and enthusiasm.[21]

Director Ardolino encouraged the actors to improvise and often kept the cameras rolling, even if actors went "off script". One example of this was the scene where Grey was to stand in front of Swayze with her back to him and put her arm up behind his head while he trailed his fingers down her arm (similar to the pose seen in the movie poster). Though it was written as a serious and tender moment, Grey was exhausted, found the move ticklish, and could not stop giggling each time Swayze tried it, no matter how many takes Ardolino asked for. Swayze was impatient to finish the scene and found Grey's behavior annoying. However, the producers decided the scene worked as it was and put it into the film, complete with Grey's giggling and Swayze's annoyed expression. It became one of the most famous scenes in the movie, turning out, as choreographer Kenny Ortega put it, "as one of the most delicate and honest moments in the film."[19]


The shooting wrapped on October 27, 1986, both on-time and on-budget. No one on the team, however, liked the rough cut that was put together, and Vestron executives were convinced the film was going to be a flop. Thirty-nine percent of people who viewed the film did not realize abortion was the subplot. In May 1987, the film was screened for producer Aaron Russo. According to Vestron executive Mitchell Cannold, Russo's reaction at the end was to say simply, "Burn the negative, and collect the insurance."[19]

Further disputes arose over whether a corporate sponsor could be found to promote the film. Marketers of the Clearasil acne product liked the film, seeing it as a vehicle to reach a teen target audience. However, when they learned the film contained an abortion scene, they asked for that part of the plot to be cut. As Bergstein refused, the Clearasil promotion was dropped. Consequently, Vestron promoted the film themselves and set the premiere on August 16, 1987. The Vestron executives had planned to release the film in theaters for a weekend and then send it straight to home video, since Vestron had been in the video distribution business before film production.[12] Considering how many people disliked the film at that point, producer Gottlieb's recollection of her feelings at the time was, "I would have only been grateful, if when it was released, people didn't yell at me."[19]


Critical response[edit]

The film received positive reviews from critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 72% based on reviews from 54 critics, with a rating average of 5.8 out of 10.[23]

For the film's opening, the edition of August 16, 1987 of The New York Times published a major review, with a headline reading, "Dirty Dancing Rocks to an Innocent Beat." The Times reviewer called the film "a metaphor for America in the summer of 1963 – orderly, prosperous, bursting with good intentions, a sort of Yiddish-inflected Camelot."[24] Other reviews were more mixed: Gene Siskel gave the film a "marginal Thumbs Up" as he liked Jennifer Grey's acting and development of her character, while Roger Ebert gave it "Thumbs Down" due to its "idiot plot",[25] calling it a "tired and relentlessly predictable story of love between kids from different backgrounds."[26] TIME magazine was lukewarm, saying, "If the ending of Eleanor Bergstein's script is too neat and inspirational, the rough energy of the film's song and dance does carry one along, past the whispered doubts of better judgment."[27] Jezebel's Irin Carmon called the film "the greatest movie of all time", "a great, brave movie for women" with "some subtle, retrospectively sharp-eyed critiques of class and gender."[28]

Regardless of reviews, the film drew adult audiences instead of the expected teens, with viewers rating the film highly.[21] Many filmgoers, after seeing the film once, went right back into the theater to watch it a second time.[21] Word-of-mouth promotion took the film to the number one position in the United States, and in 10 days it had broken the $10 million mark. By November, it was also achieving international fame. Within seven months of release, it had brought in $63 million and boosted attendance in dance classes across America.[19] It was one of the highest-grossing films of 1987, earning $170 million worldwide.[29][30]

The film's popularity continued to grow after its initial release. It was the number one video rental of 1988[31] and became the first film to sell a million copies on video. When the film was re-released in 1997, 10 years after its original release, Swayze received his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame,[32] and videos were still selling at the rate of over 40,000 per month.[32] As of 2005, it was selling a million DVDs per year,[33] with over 10 million copies sold as of 2007.[34]

A May 2007 survey by Britain's Sky Movies listed Dirty Dancing as number one on "Women's most-watched films", above the Star Wars trilogy, Grease, The Sound of Music, and Pretty Woman.[35] The film's popularity has also caused it to be called "the Star Wars for girls."[13][36][37] An April 2008 article in Britain's Daily Mail listed Dirty Dancing as number one on a list of "most romantic movie quotes ever", for Baby's line: "I'm scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life the way I feel when I'm with you."[38]

The film's music has also had considerable impact. The closing song, "(I've Had) The Time of My Life", has been listed as the "third most popular song played at funerals" in the UK.[13]



Rehearsals for the dancing, and some filming, used music from Bergstein's personal collection of gramophone records. When it came time to select actual music for the film, Vestron chose Jimmy Ienner as music supervisor. Ienner, who had previously produced albums and songs for John Lennon and Three Dog Night, opted to stick with much of the music that had already been used during filming and obtained licenses for the songs from Bergstein's collection. He also enlisted Swayze to sing the new song "She's Like the Wind". Swayze had written the song a few years earlier with Stacy Widelitz, originally intending for it to be used in the film Grandview, U.S.A. (1984)[19]

John Morris composed the film's score. The lyrics for the Kellermans' song that closes the talent show were written specifically for the film[21] and were sung to the tune of "Annie Lisle", a commonly used theme for school alma maters.[45] Kenny Ortega and his assistant Miranda Garrison chose the song for the finale by going through an entire box of tapes, listening to each one. According to Ortega, literally the last tape they listened to had "The Time of My Life", which they saw as the obvious choice.[40] Ienner then insisted that Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes record it. The song won the 1988 Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group, an Academy Award for Best Original Song, and the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.[40][41]

The film's soundtrack started an oldies music revival,[46] and demand for the album caught RCA Records by surprise. According to Franke Previte, before a single had even been released, there were a million albums on back-order.[19] The Dirty Dancing album spent 18 weeks at number one on the Billboard 200 album sales charts and went platinum eleven times, selling more than 32 million copies worldwide.[47][48] It spawned a follow-up multi-platinum album in February 1988, entitled More Dirty Dancing.[49]

Songs from the album which appeared on the charts included:[40]

Additionally, the resurgence in popularity of the oldies contained in the movie led to a re-release of The Contours' single "Do You Love Me". "Do You Love Me" was featured in the movie but was omitted from the original soundtrack; it was included on More Dirty Dancing. Upon being re-released, "Do You Love Me" became a surprise hit all over again, this time peaking at #11 (it originally hit #3 back in 1962).[citation needed]


The iconic scene where Johnny says, "Nobody puts Baby in a corner."[14]

As for the studio, despite the film's huge monetary success, Vestron followed it up with a series of flops and ran out of money. Vestron's parent company, Vestron Inc., went bankrupt in 1990[19] and was bought out in January 1991 by Live Entertainment for $26 million. The rights to Dirty Dancing now rest with Lions Gate Entertainment,[33] which purchased Artisan Entertainment in 2003.

Orbach, already known as a successful Broadway actor, continued in different genres. He was the voice of the candelabrum "Lumiere" in the Disney animated film, Beauty and the Beast (1991) before taking on his best known role, detective Lennie Briscoe on the TV crime drama Law & Order, which he played from 1992 until his death in 2004.[51]

Choreographer Ortega went on to choreograph other major pictures such as Newsies (1992)[17] and starting in 2006, the High School Musical series.[52] He also became a director of film and television, including several episodes of Gilmore Girls, in which Dirty Dancing‍‍ '​‍s Kelly Bishop had a starring role.[53]

Lake Lure celebrated its Dirty Dancing legacy in the 1980s with the Dirty Dancing Revue featuring the A-Lure Dancers, soul singer Maurice Williams (whose song "Stay" was featured in the film), and Billy Scott and the Party Prophets. Today, Lake Lure hosts the annual Dirty Dancing Festival.[54]

Kellerman's Hotel is the Mountain Lake Hotel, and it now offers "Dirty Dancing Weekends".[55]

Various images and lines from the film have worked their way into popular culture. Johnny Castle's line, "Nobody puts Baby in a corner", has been used in song lyrics, as the title of the "Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner" episode of the TV series Veronica Mars, and as the title of a Fall Out Boy song. "Nobody puts Baby in a corner" was also quoted in Supernatural: when Dean says the line concerning his beloved Impala and his brother Sam retorts that the line is from a Swayze movie; Dean responds: "Swayze always gets a pass". The line was parodied in the webcomic Looking for Group where Richard, one of the primary characters, uttered a variation involving his own name, and in Family Guy, where the scene is parodied by Baby's parents questioning Johnny due to her youth. The feminist art group Sisters of Jam put the text "Nobody puts Baby in a corner" (in English) in white neon light at Umeå Bus Square (2008) and at Karlstad University (2012).[56]

Family Guy also parodies the scene where Baby first sees Johnny dancing with the staff. In the TV series How I Met Your Mother, Barney Stinson attempts to pass off the Dirty Dancing story as the story of his own loss of virginity because he is ashamed of his actual story; the original "Love is Strange" scene is shown with Barney replacing Johnny.

The French film Heartbreaker (2010) pays homage to the film, as a plot detail, with some clips from the film shown and a "recreation" by the two main characters of the "lift" scene.

In the first episode of the TV series New Girl the female lead Jess watches the film repeatedly after her break up.

Alternate versions[edit]

Stage version[edit]

The film was adapted for the stage in 2004 as a musical, Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story on Stage. Produced by Jacobsen Entertainment in Australia for $6.5 million, it was written by Eleanor Bergstein and had the same songs as the film, plus a few extra scenes. Musical direction was by Chong Lim (one of the composers for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney), and the initial production starred Kym Valentine as Baby and Sydney Dance Company's Josef Brown as Johnny. Although reviews were mixed,[37] the production was a commercial success, selling over 200,000 tickets during its six-month run.[30] It has also had sellout runs in Germany and in London's West End, where it opened at the Aldwych Theatre on October 23, 2006 with the highest pre-sell in London history, earning £6 million ($US12 million).[12][13][37] As of March 2011, over 1 million people have seen the musical in London, selling out 6 months in advance.[57] The original West End production closed in July 2011 after a five-year run, prior to a two-year national tour.[58] The show returned to the West End at the Piccadilly Theatre and ran from July 13, 2013 to February 22, 2014 before resuming its tour of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.[59]

A New York production was in the planning stage in 2006,[37] with the show first starting in other North American cities. It broke box office records in May 2007 for its first such venue, selling $2 million on the first day of ticket sales in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The production opened on November 15, 2007 at the Royal Alexandra Theatre, with an all-Canadian cast, except for Monica West (Baby Housman), Britta Lazenga (Penny), and Al Sapienza (Jake Housman). After Toronto, the musical opened in Chicago in previews on September 28, 2008 and officially on October 19, 2008, running through January 17, 2009,[60] followed by Boston (February 7 – March 15, 2009) and Los Angeles. No Broadway dates have been announced for the show.[61][62][63]

An official American tour began in September 2014 at The National Theatre in Washington, DC with dates scheduled in 31 cities. Previews started August 26 and the official premier was September 2.

Tours and TV show[edit]

Dirty Dancing has appeared in other forms than the stage version. In 1988, a music tour named Dirty Dancing: Live in Concert, featuring Bill Medley and Eric Carmen,[40] played 90 cities in three months.[19] Also in 1988, the CBS network launched a Dirty Dancing television series, however with none of the original cast or staff. The series was canceled after only a few episodes.


In 2004, a re-imagining of the film was released, entitled Havana Nights. Although neither a remake nor technically a prequel, Havana Nights showcases a similar storyline about a sheltered American teenager learning about life through dance, when her family relocates to Havana, Cuba just before the 1959 Cuban Revolution. Swayze was paid $5 million to appear in a cameo role as a dance teacher—considerably more than the $200,000 he earned for the first film.[64]

20th anniversary releases[edit]

For the 20th anniversary in 2007, the film was re-released in theatres with additional footage, while the original film version was rereleased on DVD with deleted scenes included and writer commentary.[65] At the same time, Codemasters released Dirty Dancing: the Video Game.[66] In the United Kingdom the anniversary was marked by a reality TV show based on the film; titled, Dirty Dancing: The Time of Your Life, the TV show was filmed at the Mountain Lake resort.

In the UK, to mark the 20th anniversary of the film, Channel Five broadcast a special documentary called Seriously Dirty Dancing. It was presented by Dawn Porter, an investigative journalist and a self-confessed Dirty Dancing addict. The documentary was very successful, Channel Five's highest rated documentary of 2007. Porter visited the set of the film, met other Dirty Dancing fanatics, and learned the last dance, which she performed at the end of the documentary in front of family and friends.


In August 2011, Lionsgate announced their plan to remake the film. It was confirmed that the studio hired the film's choreographer Kenny Ortega to direct. "We believe that the timing couldn't be better to modernize this story on the big screen, and we are proud to have Kenny Ortega at the helm," Joe Drake, president of Lionsgate's Motion Picture Group, explained about the project. Since Swayze died in September 2009, a replacement for the remake is unknown.[67] A miniseries for "Dirty Dancing" is scheduled to be shot in Western North Carolina.[68] As of July 29, 2015 the miniseries has been put on hold.[69]


  1. ^ "DIRTY DANCING (15)". British Board of Film Classification. July 20, 1987. Retrieved July 8, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Great American Films Limited Partnership [us]". IMDb. 
  3. ^ a b Singh, Anita (September 16, 2009). "Patrick Swayze, the man who inspired a generation of women to dance, has died". The Telegraph (London). Retrieved January 9, 2010. 
  4. ^ Craughwell, Kathleen (August 18, 1997). "Save the Last Dirty Dance for the Revival; Movies: 'Dirty Dancing,' the Catskills love story with forbidden footwork, steps out again for its 10th birthday.". Los Angeles Times. 
  5. ^ "Kenny Ortega Comes Full Circle To Direct ‘Dirty Dancing’ Reboot". August 8, 2011. 
  6. ^ "'Dirty Dancing' Reboot Becoming a TV Movie". Christian Times. February 2015. 
  7. ^ $4 million freed in film fund after ‘Dirty Dancing’ remake cancels
  8. ^ "North Carolina town hosts 'Dirty Dancing' festival". USA Today. August 1, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Catskills Resort That Inspired Dirty Dancing Burns To The Ground". 
  10. ^ "Mountain Lake Hotel". 
  11. ^ Miller, Gray. "Learn How to Dirty Dance". 
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