Patrick Swayze had to convince Jennifer Grey to be in this film because she had disliked him so much while filming Red Dawn (1984).
In the scene where Johnny and Baby are practicing dancing, baby keeps laughing when he runs his arm down hers. It was not part of the scene; she was actually laughing. His frustration was genuine.
Patrick Swayze was offered six million dollars to reprise his role as Johnny for a Dirty Dancing sequel. Swayze wasn't a fan of sequels and turned it down.
At twenty-seven, Jennifer Gray was ten years older than the character of Baby. During her audition, she had 5 minutes to prove she could play younger.
The dancing that Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey do during the love scene was actually the same dance that they did for the screen tests. It was not originally supposed to be in the film.
During the scene where Baby and Johnny are dancing in the woods and later in the water - since that part of the movie was shot in October, all the leaves on the trees had started changing colors - the trees all around the lake and for that scene were spray-painted green due to make it look like summer. If you look closely during that scene in the woods, you can see leaves falling off the trees.
According to a December 2008 interview with Dirty Dancing (1987) screenwriter Eleanor Bergstein, the characters of Baby and Johnny were both influenced by Bergstein's own biography.
In 1975, Jennifer Grey's father, Joel Grey, starred in a very short-lived Broadway musical, Goodtime Charley, about the son of Charlemagne. One of the ensemble dancers? Patrick Swayze.
Throughout the film, Johnny and Baby always wear contrasting colors: Baby wears very light colors, and Johnny wears black or something very dark.
Lynn Lipton, the actress originally cast as Marjorie Houseman (Baby's mother) was replaced with Kelly Bishop, who had originally been cast as Vivian Pressman (the "Bungalow Bunny"). Left without an actress to play Vivian, the producers cast Miranda Garrison, the film's assistant choreographer, in that role.
The film was re-released in 1997 due to a petition led by Conan O'Brien in which he asked viewers to send letters calling for the film's re-release. O'Brien later joked that he actually didn't like the movie that much.
The book that Robbie tries to lend to Baby as an explanation for his refusal to help Penny is 'The Fountainhead' by Ayn Rand. Rand was the creator of a philosophy called Objectivism, which holds (among other beliefs) that it is more important for a person to be concerned with his or her own well-being rather than to try to help others. Some of her adherents (including, apparently, Robbie) interpret her books as justification for selfish and self-serving behavior and the disavowal of responsibility to others.
At the beginning of the film, it is said that Baby will attend Mount Holyoke College in the fall. Her namesake, Frances Perkins, was a graduate of Mount Holyoke, Class of 1902.
Val Kilmer was initially offered the lead but declined.
The love scene between Johnny and Baby during the "Cry to Me" sequence that was cut from the film is featured on the 20th anniversary DVD release in 2007.
Max Cantor played the role of Robbie Gould in the film. Max was the son of Broadway producer Arthur Cantor. They lived in the Dakota Apartments on West 72nd in NYC with John Lennon and other residents. Max attended Harvard University and died of an overdose at the age of 32.
Patrick Swayze insisted on doing his own stunts for "Dirty Dancing". During the log scene, he kept on falling off of the log and injured his knee so badly he had to have fluid drained from the swelling.
The "Cry to Me" love scene was voted "One of the [most seductive] movie moments in cinematic history".
When Patrick Swayze's character Johnny Castle is dancing with Penny (Cynthia Rhodes), she is wearing a custom-made red dress that crisscrossed in the back. Patrick kept getting his fingers stuck.
Billy Zane told TMZ that he and Sarah Jessica Parker had auditioned for the leads.
Jane Brucker who played Baby's older sister Lisa co-wrote the song "Hula Hana", but she didn't receive credit for writing the song until March 18, 2002.
The song "She's Like The Wind" was co-written by Patrick Swayze with Stacy Widelitzand, sung by Patrick Swayze.
During the iconic lake scene, there are no close-ups. It was so cold, the actors' lips turned blue.
The very famous scene where Johnny and Baby crawl towards each other wasn't supposed to be part of the film. They were just messing around, but the director liked it so much he kept it in the film.