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Jennifer Grey on Why 'Dirty Dancing' Still Resonates 25 Years Later

PARADE Modified: May 29, 2012 at 1:31 pm •  Published: May 23, 2012
Twenty-five years after Jennifer Grey and the late Patrick Swayze lit up the silver screen in the iconic film Dirty Dancing, the actress has teamed up with Skinny Cow to bring the movie back to the big screen in a special anniversary tour. The veteran actress sat down with at the kickoff screening in New York City to discuss the project and her unforgettable role.

On why Dirty Dancing continues to resonate with new audiences 25 years later.
"I think that it’s about coming of age. I think it’s about that transition between being a child and being an adult; between being innocent and being a daddy’s girl, and breaking away enough to be able to figure out who you are outside of your family. It’s like turning into a butterfly. You can’t turn back into a caterpillar. When Patrick says, 'Nobody puts Baby in a corner' to my character, he’s saying, 'You can’t go back. You can’t go back to where you were. You have to go forward. You have to stay being your most authentic version of yourself.'"

Patrick Swayze's Widow Opens Up About Her Grief

On commemorating such a significant milestone three years after the passing of her co-star, Patrick Swayze.
"It’s so strange and so sad because I feel like the last one standing. The director [Emile Ardolino] is gone, Jerry Orbach’s gone, Jack Weston’s gone, and now Patrick’s gone. It’s really sad, but to me it just shows you that our time here is brief, and to make the most of it and really enjoy your life. Give yourself pleasure, see your friends, go to the movies. It’s about being happy and giving yourself treats, more than just candy and ice cream treats."

On whether she still dances.
"I started dancing again because of Dancing With the Stars and I hadn’t danced since I was in my 20s, since I was a kid. And I hadn’t danced in public since Dirty Dancing because I was so self-conscious that I wouldn’t be a good dancer. But I realized I don’t have to be a good dancer to enjoy dance. I can just dance, not for the results, but just for the feeling I get, and that is really a powerful thing that I would love to get out to the world, that dance is possible at every age.

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