• Show Notes

By Melissa Murray

Dear Listener,

This weekend, in a fit of nostalgia, I decided to watch one of my favorite movies from childhood: Dirty Dancing.  Before you get judgey, I should note that my very conservative immigrant parents did not allow me to see Dirty Dancing when it first arrived in theaters in 1987.  The movie poster featuring Jennifer Grey pressed close to Patrick Swayze’s writhing pelvis was all my mother needed to underscore her conviction that the movie had “no redeeming values” and was completely inappropriate for her preteen.

But two years later, while attending summer orchestra camp at Florida State University, a group of jaded counselors decided that Dirty Dancing was exactly the ticket for our weekly movie night.  Past movie nights had featured showings of Amadeus and Fantasia, but having quickly exhausted their cache of movies that were actually about orchestral music, our counselors instead focused on finding crowd-pleasing fare with some tangential relationship to music.  Dirty Dancing fit the bill.  And it was the best attended movie night of the summer.  Legions of teenaged violinists and cellists huddled shoulder to shoulder in a crowded room, absolutely rapt as the story of Frances “Baby” Houseman and dance instructor Johnny Castle unfolded on the screen.