'Dirty Dancing' rehearsal footage reveals Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey's amazing chemistry

Gwynne Watkins
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

Editor’s note: This story was originally published Feb. 6, 2017. With the film celebrating its 30th anniversary today, Aug. 21, we thought it worthwhile to revisit. 

There’s a lot of chemistry, and no “spaghetti arms,” in this rare footage of Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey’s Dirty Dancing screen test. This Yahoo Movies exclusive clip, taken from a new featurette on the 30th anniversary Dirty Dancing Blu-ray, shows the two stars getting to know each other as they work through some dance steps. One is a lift, not unlike the one that causes Baby (played by Grey) seriously anxiety in the film. Swayze, an experienced ballet dancer by the time he made the film, instructs Grey to lift her chest so he doesn’t hurt her ribs. “It hurts my ribs,” she replies, giggling, as Swayze gently puts her down. Watching these two together, it’s hard to imagine how the producers could have cast anyone else.

Related: ‘Dirty Dancing’ Screenwriter on Casting Patrick Swayze and That Abortion Plot Line

“I remember the screen test with Patrick was really exciting and really fun,” Grey says in interview footage from 2003. “If someone is really just there, really just for you, you can feel it. And he had a way of dancing with me that was far superior to everybody… and we were comfortable with each other.”

The Dirty Dancing 30th anniversary DVD and Blu-ray, which includes the full featurette among its new special features, is now available.

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