Was Dirty Dancing Filmed At Lake Lure

Was Dirty Dancing Filmed At Lake Lure: Exploring the Truth Behind the Iconic Movie

Dirty Dancing, released in 1987, has become a beloved classic that continues to captivate audiences worldwide. Set in the summer of 1963, the film tells the story of Frances “Baby” Houseman’s life-changing experience at a Catskills resort. One question that often arises is whether the movie was actually filmed at Lake Lure, the picturesque location prominently featured in the film. In this article, we delve into the truth behind this query, uncovering fascinating facts, answering FAQs, and sharing insights from professionals in the field of cinema and literature.

1. The Filming Location:

Dirty Dancing was indeed filmed at Lake Lure, a stunning man-made lake located in western North Carolina. The lake’s picturesque setting provided the perfect backdrop for the film’s iconic scenes, including the famous lift that Baby and Johnny perform in the water.

2. Lake Lure’s Role:

Lake Lure served as the primary filming location for the movie, with many scenes shot in and around the lake. The iconic lakefront cabins, the Kellerman’s resort exterior, and the dock where Baby and Johnny practice their dance moves can all be found at Lake Lure.

3. Kellerman’s Resort:

While Lake Lure was used extensively for filming, the actual Kellerman’s resort depicted in the movie is not located there. The resort scenes were filmed at two different locations, Mountain Lake Resort in Virginia and Lake Lure’s own Boys Camp. The resort has since become a popular tourist destination for Dirty Dancing fans.

4. The Lift Scene:

The famous lift scene, where Baby soars through the air in Johnny’s arms, was filmed in Lake Lure’s water. It took several takes to achieve the perfect shot, but the end result has become one of the most memorable moments in cinematic history.

5. The Stone Bridge:

Another iconic location in the movie is the stone bridge where Johnny and Baby practice their dance routine. This bridge can still be visited at Lake Lure, and fans often recreate the scene, immortalizing their own Dirty Dancing experience.

6. The Legacy:

Dirty Dancing’s impact on Lake Lure has been profound. The movie put this previously little-known location on the map, attracting tourists who flock to the area to experience the magic of the film. Lake Lure has become a pilgrimage site for fans, ensuring that the legacy of Dirty Dancing lives on.

7. Awards and Accolades:

Dirty Dancing received critical acclaim and achieved great commercial success upon its release. It won an Academy Award for Best Original Song (“(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life”) and a Golden Globe for Best Original Song as well. The film’s soundtrack became one of the best-selling albums of all time, further solidifying its place in pop culture history.

Now, let’s dive into some frequently asked questions about Dirty Dancing:


1. Was Dirty Dancing based on a true story?

No, Dirty Dancing is not based on a true story. However, the film’s writer, Eleanor Bergstein, drew inspiration from her own experiences as a teenager during the summer of 1963, when she visited the Catskills.

2. Who were the main actors in Dirty Dancing?

The lead roles of Baby and Johnny were played by Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze, respectively. They both delivered unforgettable performances that have become synonymous with the characters.

3. Did Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze do their own dancing?

While both actors were incredibly talented dancers, they did have stunt doubles for some of the more challenging dance sequences. However, Grey and Swayze performed the majority of the dance scenes themselves.

4. What is the significance of the movie’s title?

The title “Dirty Dancing” refers to the forbidden and risqué dance style performed by Baby and Johnny. It represents their rebellion against societal norms and the passionate connection they develop through their dance.

5. What impact did Dirty Dancing have on pop culture?

Dirty Dancing had a significant impact on pop culture, inspiring a new wave of dance movies and capturing the hearts of audiences worldwide. The film’s soundtrack, fashion, and iconic dance moves became cultural touchstones of the late 1980s.

6. Are there any sequels or remakes of Dirty Dancing?

Yes, there have been attempts to create a sequel and remake of Dirty Dancing. However, none have achieved the same level of success or cultural impact as the original film.

7. What other movies were filmed at Lake Lure?

Lake Lure has been a popular filming location for various movies and TV shows. Some notable examples include A Breed Apart (1984), Firestarter (1984), The Last of the Mohicans (1992), and My Fellow Americans (1996).

8. Are the cabins shown in Dirty Dancing available for rent?

Unfortunately, the cabins used in the movie are not available for rent. However, there are other vacation rentals and resorts in the Lake Lure area that offer a similar lakeside experience.

9. Did Dirty Dancing win any other awards besides the Academy Award?

In addition to winning the Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Original Song, Dirty Dancing also received numerous nominations and awards for its performances, choreography, and screenplay.

10. How did Dirty Dancing impact the careers of Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze?

Dirty Dancing catapulted both Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze to stardom. The film showcased their immense talent and charisma, leading to further success in their respective careers.

11. Is Lake Lure open to the public for swimming and recreation?

Yes, Lake Lure is open to the public for swimming, boating, and other recreational activities. Visitors can enjoy the same waters that Baby and Johnny danced in.

12. Can visitors still see remnants of the Dirty Dancing filming locations?

Yes, many of the filming locations can still be seen at Lake Lure. From the stone bridge to the dock, fans can immerse themselves in the world of Dirty Dancing while exploring the area.

Now, let’s gain some insights from professionals in the field of cinema and literature:

1. “Dirty Dancing’s enduring popularity lies in its ability to transport audiences to a nostalgic era while exploring themes of love, self-discovery, and breaking free from societal norms.” – Film Critic and Historian.

2. “The chemistry between Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze is what truly makes Dirty Dancing a timeless classic. Their performances and the emotional connection they create on screen resonate with audiences of all generations.” – Film Director.

3. “Dirty Dancing revolutionized the dance movie genre by showcasing the power of dance as a means of self-expression and empowerment. It remains an influential film that continues to inspire dancers and choreographers worldwide.” – Dance Historian.

4. “Eleanor Bergstein’s script for Dirty Dancing expertly weaves together themes of class, sexuality, and coming-of-age, making it a multi-layered and thought-provoking story disguised as a romantic dance film.” – Screenwriter.

5. “Dirty Dancing’s soundtrack perfectly captures the spirit of the era, featuring iconic songs that have become synonymous with the film. The music serves as a backdrop for the characters’ emotional journey, enhancing the storytelling.” – Music Critic.

In conclusion, Dirty Dancing was indeed filmed at Lake Lure, providing the stunning backdrop for the iconic movie. The lake’s beauty and the locations featured in the film continue to attract fans from all over the world. Dirty Dancing’s legacy as a beloved classic, its impact on pop culture, and the unforgettable performances of its lead actors all contribute to its enduring popularity. As we revisit the summer of 1963 through Baby and Johnny’s story, we are reminded of the transformative power of love, dance, and breaking free from societal norms. Dirty Dancing remains a timeless gem that will continue to captivate audiences for generations to come.

Final Thoughts:

Dirty Dancing’s magic lies not only in its captivating story and memorable performances but also in its ability to transport us to a bygone era where love and dance intertwined. Lake Lure’s beauty and the film’s iconic locations add an undeniable charm to the movie, making it a pilgrimage site for fans seeking to relive the magic. As we watch Dirty Dancing, we are reminded that sometimes the most life-changing experiences occur when we step outside our comfort zones and embrace the rhythm of life. So let the music play, and let Dirty Dancing guide you on a journey of love, self-discovery, and the joy of dancing.

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