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Dirty Dancing Turns 25: The VHS That Shaped My Life

Dedicated to the Baby’s and the Ana Steele’s of the world…

I love a good story. I love them so much that I had to pull myself away from the 50 Shades Of Grey trilogy long enough to write this. 25 years ago today, Dirty Dancing was released. I was just a kid when it was a hit in theaters, but once I got my hands on the VHS, I fell hard. The dancing and music drew me in, and when I became a teen, the story was totally my so called life. Pun intended. What’s up, Claire Danes.

Baby was the good girl’s shero. We didn’t have many of those, but she wore cardigans and long dresses. She had big dreams and wanted to change the world. This time around, the bookworm meets bad boy, and for once bad boy loves bookworm.

I remember that one exciting moment in high school that could have turned disastrous when my all-girls senior class attempted to recreate the final dance scene. We even felt brave enough to have a girl jump off the stage for the dramatic lift. Thankfully the Dean stopped us, but it’s a night we’ll always remember.

25 years since my first introduction, Dirty Dancing is still my favorite movie of all time. I still have “I carried a watermelon” moments, when I can’t say in words how I feel, but I can find the perfect ones in a song. In one of those moments, I collaborated with my buddy December on my first official mixtape, LOVE. We used Dirty Dancing as our arc, to tell the story of a girl in love. Turns out it plays like a modern day romance, and once I curated the tracks, it became clear that it’s a reflection of how I love. It’s one of my favorite pieces I’ve ever done. Listening to it almost two years later, I can feel the purity, hope, fearlessness, and joy, and it makes me smile knowing that it’s a direct reflection of my heart.

Love like the movies.