As explained by the late Patrick Swayze...

We’ve all watched Dirty Dancing at least once in our lives, and if you’re anything like us then you’ve probably watched this iconic film too many times to count!


From the log dances to lake lifts, Patrick Swayze‘s smouldering looks and that famous final scene, you might know this film better than any other – but do you know where Dirty Dancing gets its legendary name? And did you know that Patrick Swayze HATED it?! Here’s why…

The film was named after the style of dancing featured in the movie, which moves away from traditional partner dancing and is more about the freedom of expression in the dancer’s movements; as Johnny explains to Baby in the film, “It’s a feeling; a heartbeat.”

dirty dancing

However, in an interview with reporter Bobbie Wygant in Dallas in 1987, Red Dawn star Patrick Swayze was asked what he thought of the name of his latest film, Dirty Dancing. The then 35-year-old, responded honestly,  “I hate the title Dirty Dancing…I absolutely hate it!” He also revealed that the cast tried for a long time to get the name changed before it stuck, “We all really fought to have it not called ‘Dirty Dancing’” the dashing actor explained, but their efforts didn’t work,  “That’s what the studio went with so that’s what we have to be stuck with and publicise…”


This shocking response from one of the films main stars was surprising, and when the reporter asked Patrick why he hated the title ‘Dirty Dancing’ so much, the talented performer responded  “It’s not the kind of film that the title indicates it might be”. He went on to explain that the type of dancing he does in the film is, “not what it sounds like” and is not ‘dirty’ in the slightest because for his character, “It’s an innocent passion”.


If Patrick had known what a timeless and endlessly popular film Dirty Dancing would go on to become, then he might not have protested about the title of the movie so much…

We’re just glad that the film wasn’t stuck with the very first title it was given, which was simply ‘Dancing’!


Think you know all there is about Dirty Dancing? Then take our fun quiz…