Study Guide

Dirty Dancing Love

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RADIO: Hi, everybody. This is your cousin Brucie. Whoa! Our summer romances are in full bloom, and everybody, but everybody's in love!

Everybody's in love is great foreshadowing for the love story this movie becomes. But we also want to mention for your cultural edification that "Cousin Brucie" is a real-life radio legend who once introduced the Beatles. His inclusion in this film brings back memories to many viewers of a summer of love.

PENNY: Okay, ladies, when I stay "stop" you're gonna find the man of your dreams.

Here's another bit of foreshadowing. Penny's of course exaggerating here; we doubt Baby falls in love with old Mrs. Schumacher as the "man" of her dreams. But she'll fall for another dance partner soon enough.

JAKE: You always said you could tell me anything.

BABY: I can't tell you this.

Dirty Dancing isn't just about the love between Baby and Johnny. It's also about the love between Baby and her father, and this summer tests the love between them.

JOHNNY: It's a feeling. A heartbeat. Ga-gun. Ga-gun. Don't try so hard. Ga-gun. Ga-gun. Close your eyes.

Set against the song "Hungry Eyes" this scene might be more about lust than love. Johnny's got lots of experience doing provocative dances with people he's got no feelings for. He's a professional. Baby—not so much. She's getting swept off her feet literally and metaphorically.

JOHNNY: Lock your frame. Look, spaghetti arms. This is my dance space. This is your dance space. I don't go into yours. You don't go into mine. You gotta hold the frame.

Johnny's dance instructions are another bit of foreshadowing. He'll eventually welcome Baby into his dance space. These two will become one frame.

BABY: 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.

Neither Baby nor Johnny say "I love you" to one another, but we can assume the feeling Baby is talking about here is love. Unless it's the risotto.

BABY: There are a lot of things about me that aren't what you thought. But if you love me, you have to love all those things about me. And I love you. And I'm sorry I let you down. I'm so sorry, Daddy. But you let me down, too.

Give us a minute to pull ourselves together. We're crying too much over this beautiful depiction of love between a father and daughter to say anything sensible. Jake cries too, which only adds to how moving this moment is.

JOHNNY: I'll never be sorry.

BABY: Neither will I.

This is the closest Johnny and Baby come to saying "I love you" to one another out loud. The rest of the time, she and Johnny express themselves with more than words. They let their bodies do the talking.

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