Study Guide

Dirty Dancing Innocence

Innocence

We can't think of a more innocent name than Baby. Except maybe Pope(s) Innocent I-XIII, but we can't imagine them doing the flamenco. At least not while the Cardinals are watching.

So until the inevitable Da Vinci Code/Dirty Dancing crossover, we have Baby. She's a seventeen-year-old known as Baby, which is like a giant being called "tiny" or a celebrity called "humble." She's innocent in many ways—sexually, which gets resolved by the end of the film, and socially, which, ditto.

Today we literally have babies dancing on Dance Moms, but in Baby's day, when she takes the stage, she's not a little girl anymore.

Questions About Innocence

  1. What do you think is the most defining moment in Baby's coming of age?
  2. How does Baby's dad react to her growing up? How does he ultimately come to terms with it?
  3. Baby isn't the only character who grows up. What other forms of innocence are lost or changed during the film?

Chew on This

Losing innocence isn't about having sex for the first time. Baby grows up by realizing that she needs to live in reality if she wants her dreams to come true.

Because this is a dance movie, we need a dance metaphor. You could say that being an adult is about knowing when to lead and when to follow. Baby becomes an adult when she finally takes the lead.

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