Last week I started a series of articles that aim to pay homage to pieces of film set in Upstate New York. Today, we will remember the greatest movie to ever be set in the upstate (specifically Catskill) area : Dirty Dancing.
Since beginning work in my office, I can relate to Dirty Dancing more than ever. Dirty Dancing is about authority figures and expectations, about youth who want to let lose, about breaking old trends with new ones, and most importantly, it’s about coming of age and finding yourself.
Though the movie is about a recent high school graduate, Baby, who goes with her family to a resort before heading to college, I can relate to her in many ways:
-She’s moving from high school to college; I’m moving from college to the real world.
-She goes on vacation before entering the next phase of her life; I took an internship so I could mooch of my parents a little longer.
-Baby wants to have fun but her parents demand complete authority; my bosses want me to do the work they tell me and stop making fart jokes all the time.
-Baby and Johnny know that rock n’ roll is in and doo-wop is out; I know that I look cool with a mullet and everyone else looks like a robot.
-Baby’s looking for love; I’m swiping right on Tinder.
You get the point. What it boils down to, is after re-watching Dirty Dancing twice this week during work, I knew that I had to transition from being Baby to being Johnny. I had to let loose and be myself… I had to embrace my true calling: shakin’ my groove thang. It was time for me to stick it to the man- to show my bosses that I’m not just some poindexter intern.
Nobody puts Baby in a cubicle.
In order to begin my transition to become the coolest of cool, I looked to Johnny’s training techniques. I realized that the only way I would be able to pull off the famous lift at the end of the movie, would be to dance on top of a log. That is the only logical way to get ready for dancing. Thankfully, this area is full of fallen logs so I was able to practice without hassle. I nailed the balance thing pretty easily; although it kind of made me wish I did actually run away to join the Cirque du Soleil in high school. Hindsight is 20-20 I guess.
After training myself in an environment only suitable for the most advanced dancers, I knew I was ready to teach the rest of my office how to get looser than Kevin Bacon in a Utah town.
Sticking to the plot of Dirty Dancing, I wanted my partner-to-be to carry a watermelon to my dance floor (or in this case my cubicle). If they came to my desk, I would be able to win them over with my sweet moves.
But unlike the movie, there would be no way for my partner to know where to bring the watermelon to unless I left a note with it- so I left an inconspicuous note that would allow someone to figure out where the watermelon was from. It read: “Jeremy’s watermelon. Plz return. -XoXo, Not Jeremy.” Slick, right?
Strangely enough, no one brought the watermelon to my desk. I don’t know if it was because they didn’t want to carry it the 20 feet to me, or because I signed it XOXO and they’re not really feelin’ my vibes. So instead, I had to ask everyone over our company email.
In the end, I managed to find a victim- uh, I mean volunteer- to attempt to do the lift with me. I was feeling pretty confident after watching a 2:00 long YouTube video and decided that we should just go right into it. I know that no one will believe me, but it literally took under 10 minutes to get it down (or at least a good enough imitation).
So wait… Now that I’m thinking about it- they spent a whole hour of that movie making a big deal out of a move that took 10 minutes to learn? Are you kidding me? The movie is ruined now.
Okay Baby, I’m alright with the fact that you’re being freaking spoiled brat who’s rebelling against your parents by boppin’ around with a worker at the resort they paid for you to go on vacation to. I can even forgive you for getting a rhinoplasty a few years after the movie came out and ruining your entire movie career… But Johnny….
I can’t forgive you. You play this whole anti-hero dude who is talking about cougars stuffing diamonds in your pocket yet you choose to waste hours upon hours on one girl- who’s about to leave- teaching them some stupid dance move that you know only takes 10 minutes to do? Dude, take the freaking diamonds! I would expect this from Ren McCormack …. but from you… I’m just disappointed.
And now, when I look back at the transformation I’ve made, I realize that I am not Johnny Castle: I’m better. I’m walking a thin line between business and pleasure now; the old me that related to Baby is gone- I’m a man now… I’m a dancer now. At the end of the day, even though I’m pissed off that Johnny believes in love more than money (pshh, idiot), I’m still thankful that one movie was able to transform me into something better than a carbon copy. I still stand by the statement I made before my journey: Dirty Dancing is the greatest film ever to be set in upstate New York.