The touching and feel-good movie of "Dirty Dancing" was filmed chiefly at the Mountain Lake Resort near Roanoke, Virginia. This webpage will bring the reader some photos of this resort today, along with some stories of the filming of "Dirty Dancing". Please check the links at the bottom of the page for several websites detailing the story, cast and crew. Special thanks to the following members of SwayzeMania, who attended a special SwayzeUnion in July 2001 at the Mountain Lake Resort and provided much of the inspiration and material for this page: Rene, Carli, Jessica, Sharon, and Ro! Thanks also to Frances, for her scene contributions!
This is Room 232, otherwise known as the room where Patrick slept during the filming at the resort. Though the resort has gone through remodeling and revision, this is still "the" room!
As told by Rene, SwayzeMania's Own Kinkybrat
I went to the grocery store and bought a huge watermelon and as I was taking it out of the cart...that line hit me...and I started laughing and almost dropped it....and the checkout girl looked at me so funny and I said....I carried a watermelon!!! She said "Dirty Dancing!" I really cracked up then....and when I brought it into the house.....I went into Dave and said.......I carried a watermelon!!! And he started cracking up, too!!! So...I was Baby....if only for a minute or two!!!! Just was the WRONG MINUTES!!! LOL!
"Once you catch your breath and recover from the excrutiating sensuality of even thinking about feeling Patrick's heartbeat, you are ready to recognize that there are lots of other things going on in this short scene. Most obvious is that another level of Johnny's complex personality is revealed. Dancing moves Johnny's heart, not just his talented, sexy body. He is both more thoughtful and more insightful than it appeared when he burst through the doors of the staff quarters and danced not only with Penny and Baby, but seemingly with the whole room. He is also more emotional and more feeling than he has seemed. But this scene is also the first tangible indication of the intimacy that is developing between Baby and Johnny. What could be more intimate than sharing someone's heartbeat? And when that heartbeat is Johnny Castle's ... well ... maybe you don't even care what else is going on in the scene!"
SwayzeMania's Frances notes the following insights as she describes the scene: "Jennifer's arm goes up in the air and Patrick's hand comes down along her side.and she starts to giggle! Then he rolls his eyes, clearly angry, and throws her arm up in the air again, and again, she giggles. According to Choreographer Kenny Ortega, Jennifer was really giggling ---- and Patrick was really angry. He'd throw her arm up in the air and bring his hand down along her side again and she'd giggle.
Director Emile Ardolino kept telling them to stay with it, but if you look closely you can see Patrick look off toward the side at someone, obviously disgusted! Jennifer was exhausted, and Patrick wanted to finish the shoot and get off the oppressively hot set. Jennifer has said that sometimes when you are really, really tired, wonderful things happen because you can't control things or try to make a scene perfect, the way you think it ought to be, and certainly that happened in this scene. Patrick's anger and disgust become Johnny's, and Jennifer's exhausted giggling becomes Baby's, making the movie stronger because of it.
Patrick has said of all of the dance rehearsal scenes that he really was teaching Jennifer to dance. He really did get frustrated with her when she'd be silly at the time he wanted her to be serious and learn something, but the camera was rolling all the time this was happening, so the result in the movie is what Patrick calls a "slice of life" -- a very realistic series of scenes, and a real treat for Swayze fans!"