Be more Baby! (And other things I learnt from Dirty Dancing)

woman & home South Africa|June 2020

Be more Baby! (And other things I learnt from Dirty Dancing)
As a teenager, actor Katy Brand was swept away by the thrill of Baby’s story in Dirty Dancing – and she’s still living her life by the movie’s key lessons

The thing I fear most about getting older is living with regret. I have grandparents in their nineties, and what I most admire about them is they’ve grabbed opportunities to travel everywhere, experience anything, and take risks. They can look back and think, “We didn’t waste a second.”

At 41, I’m fearful of taking risks, but it’s easy to end up in a state of paralysis, then consume a bottle of Prosecco and a bag of chips in a fit of self-loathing. A good way to channel your more reckless, youthful energy is to enjoy things you loved when you were younger. This is what made me write a book about Dirty Dancing. I was obsessed with the film when I was 11, and now I see the lessons it gave me, I love it more.

Here’s what Dirty Dancing has taught me about seizing every opportunity – and not being scared.

1 If you get the opportunity to learn something new, always say ‘Yes’

One of the most thrilling things about the character of Baby Houseman (Jennifer Grey), the 17-year-old girl at the centre of Dirty Dancing, is that she isn’t afraid to grab an opportunity with both hands. She isn’t afraid to grab dance instructor Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze) with both hands either, but surely she deserves some good times after all the blood, sweat and tears she has put in.


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June 2020