Like many girls my age Dirty Dancing is a nostalgic peg of my youth on which some fond memories of adolescence hang. I was too naive to even pick up on the questionable choices of some of it’s characters. Instead, I resonated with Baby’s careless sense of adventure and her feelings of being a misunderstood outsider. I imagined I was her as I “cha-cha-ed” alone in my bedroom. Inside of me a dance sensation was waiting to be born. I would find myself shuffling my feet across a log in the woods near my house or imagining I was being lifted high above the water of a remote mountain lake in the Catskills as I danced floated “like a swan” in the pool.
Like so many other girls, I got goosebumps when Johnny grabs Baby’s hand saying, “Nobody put’s Baby in corner”. Oh the righteous feeling of standing up against such injustice. But the best feeling of all was when Baby overcomes her fear and bravely leaps up high into the air for The Lift. Ah…The Lift. For the first time she gives it her all and Johnny Castle holds her up triumphantly like a picture of a soaring bird without the safety of the water below. He believed in her and she finally believed in herself. Victory. As cheesy as it seems that image of Johnny Castle holding Baby high above his head still leaves me feeling triuphant and strong.
Sometimes life feels like learning The Lift. We try and try yet we find ourselves stumbling, falling, or hesitating in fear. We often forget that with each fall we are learning and are that much closer to success. We often forget that just like Johnny believed in Baby there are those around us who believe in us even when we don’t believe in ourselves. May we overcome our fears and find ourselves soaring in victory.
Thank you to the ones and The One who believe in me and thank you Patrick Swayze for making Dirty Dancing so awesome.