Saturday, April 19, 2008

Dance Like It's 1987

Me? I'm scared of everything. I'm scared of what I saw, I'm scared of what I did, of who I am, and most of all 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.
~Frances "Baby" Houseman

I don't know if my parents know this. But since my dad reads this blog, I suppose it's now public knowledge. And I'm probably too old to be grounded.

On the last day of the fifth grade, one of my friends had a party. The giggly group of 11-year-olds gathered around her basement television and watched Dirty Dancing. I didn't ask my parents' permission because I was pretty sure I wouldn't get it. And I've always played by the rules. (Even at 11, I was wrestling with the ethics of "Don't ask permission, ask forgiveness.") So, Mom and Dad, I'm sorry. I should have known better. While we're on the topic, my Sunday School teacher showed me Pretty Woman the following year....

Dirty Dancing was on TV today. I spent my afternoon writing, with a little '80s inspiration playing in the background. I find I write quite well with the TV as my soundtrack. Silence isn't inspiring to me. (First, though, Can't Buy Me Love was playing on A&E. I prefer Patrick Dempsey the nerd to his made-over cool dude. Just as I will always prefer Peter Parker over Spider-Man. But I digress). And, honestly, the film isn't bad. I think I lumped it in with cheesy fluff over the years (or scandalous viewing for preteens), but in terms of writing, it's decently quotable ("I carried a watermelon.") and even quasi-profound at times. And since it was choreographed by my favorite choreographer ever, Kenny Ortega*, I really can't pan the dancing. Because even though I may shake my head at the first few semi-scandalous dance scenes, by the end, my cynical heart is softened. And I can't say I'd object to being the pre-rhinoplasty Jennifer Grey, dolled up in one of the prettiest dresses of that decade, jumping into a pre-face-lift Patrick Swayze's arms.

I really should look into dance classes. And find myself a dance partner.

And don't do plastic surgery, kids. I believe Grey was engaged to Mr. Depp before she chopped her nose off. And she had a career. No nose = made-for-TV movies.

*Kenny Ortega choreographed and/or directed Dirty Dancing, Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Newsies (major heart), High School Musical (1-3). And was trained by Gene Kelly. Love him.

That iconic dance:

And have you seen this YouTube phenomenon? Best first dance at a wedding ever. Completely non-boring.


Vaness said...

(time for another blog stalker comment...:D)
Okay on that second video...did you see the chick in the blue skirt TOTALLY ROCKING OUT when the 3 guys joined the groom?
Oh my goodness. She cracked me up. I'm not sure if she was supposed to be involved, but she was getting it on!

michael lewis said...

"Nobody puts Baby in a corner."

I'm crying tears of nostalgia.

I absolutely loved Dirty Dancing. Fantastic film.

Can you believe it? Joanne hasn't seen it!