The other day, my friend and I were watching the Disney movie Aladdin. Yes, we are thirty-somethings with successful jobs, but we couldn't resist the pull of a childhood movie. It got us talking about our favorite movies from the 80s - the ones we associate with our youth. Growing up in different parts of the country, my roommate and I had different favorites, gems like Top Gun. The Breakfast Club. E.T. Ferris Bueller's Day Off. But the one unanimous title that elicited that gushing "OH MY GAWD I LOOOOOOOOVED THAT MOVIE!" sentiment was none other than Dirty Dancing.
I can remember going over to my friend's house to sneak a peek at the movie - my parents were a lot more strict than those of my friends, so even watching the movie felt like an illicit thrill. It wasn't until I watched the movie again many years later that I realized my parents were probably right to keep my "Hungry Eyes" from the screen - Dirty Dancing dealt with topics that I, as a seven year old, couldn't possibly comprehend. In the end, it didn't matter, because seven-year-old Black Sheep didn't care about the adult themes, she cared about two things. The Dancing...and The Music. Dirty Dancing was my first introduction to choreography. Not being a dancer when I was young, the dance moves seemed so exotic - so happy - that my friends and I couldn't help but watch that VHS tape over...and over...and over again, learning the dance moves. Who of us hasn't tried the Patrick Swayze/Jennifer Grey lift in the pool? How many of us did talent show versions of Hey Baby? How many of us wore out cassette tapes singing Hungry Eyes at the top of our lungs?
Dirty Dancing was so much more than a movie musical that was accessible to everyone - it was the precursor for dance-themed movies like Center Stage, Save the Last Dance, even the Step Up franchise. The soundtrack is instantly recognizable - to this day I can't hear some songs, like Stay or Hey Baby without thinking of jamming out in my friend's basement. As this is the 25th anniversary of the movie (man I feel old), Sony is releasing a deluxe anniversary edition of the soundtrack. It's the original 1987 soundtrack along with a host of special features and freebies. It just begs you to pick up a copy then go home and put on your best Baby costume, find your Johnny, and dance & sing along. And in the meantime, enjoy this blast from the past. Nostalgia.....you're doin' it right.