Friday, July 7, 2017

My Dirty Dancing Adventure

By Laurie Bower Epps

My two most watched of my favorite movies are Breakfast at Tiffany's and Dirty Dancing. Since a trip to the Big Apple wasn't in this blogger's budget, this blog is dedicated to the latter. Also, Dirty Dancing celebrates it's thirtieth anniversary this summer. Settled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina is the picturesque community of Lake Lure. This region is no stranger to the filmmakers using the natural beauty to their best advantage. Within walking distance of where Dirty Dancing was filmed is Chimney Rock State Park, the backdrop to the movie Last of the Mohicans. Just forty minutes north by car is Biltmore Estate in artsy and chic Asheville.


Since 1927, The Lake Lure Inn & Spa has delighted guests with modern convenience, sensational service, and breathtaking views of nearby Lake Lure. It's also on the registry of the Historic Hotels of America. Since the Inn opened just two years before the stock market crash in New York, the thirties were tough times for the Inn. Many locals thought that the Inn would have to close. However, with the return of men fighting in WWII turned the picturesque resort into a makeshift hospital for soldiers who proudly fought in the war. Many VIPs have been guests at the notorious hotel including two Presidents: Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Calvin Coolidge, as well as one of my favorite authors F. Scott Fitzgerald. After learning about it's rich and celebrity ridden past, I may have to take my own reservation.....

For a walk back in time, guests are greeted by statues, and antiques that are very reminiscent of the golden age, or roaring 20s that was so popular at the time the hotel was built. I loved the attention to detail throughout the entire lobby area of the hotel. With a grand 90 year history, the hotel still offers incredible service and hospitality.

Pink Snakeskin Blouse by Jennifer Lopez
& Bronze Purse by Simply Vera, Vera Wang

Pink & Gold Jewelry (Bracelets & Necklaces)
~New York & Co.

Khaki 'Addy' Capri's
~Lane Bryant

Metallic Rose Sandals by Clarks
~Rack Room Shoes

For this particular entry, I wanted to wear soft colors like 'Baby' wore in Dirty Dancing. Jennifer Grey's character wore a lot of pink, which I paired with khaki capri's to give the look a modern twist. I hope you all enjoy the overall flow of this, my favorite photo.

Dirty Dancing: My Adventure

Dirty Dancing was released on August 21, 1987 nationwide. Directors weren't sure of the response the movie would receive due to musicals and dance movies being sort of "out." However with starlit cast, coming of age theme, and fantastic music it really did quite the opposite.

I confess, I've never seen Dirty Dancing in the theaters, and I saw it for the first time many years later. But I fell in love with the movie the first time I saw it. Set in 1963, the movie tells of a girl turning into a woman against the beautiful backdrop of the beautiful North Carolina mountains. There's also a sweet love story with Patrick Swayze which really adds to overall movie.

My friend Ruth lives not too far from the hotel from the movie, and she occupanied me on this adventure. All photo credit goes to her with spectacular results. 

Just footsteps from the parking lot, we found Johnny's cabin right away. Not only did their love scene occur inside of it, but there's also a scene where he pins her to the outside wall for an ardent kiss. Even in middle age, I dream of being loved like that....

From the porch, you can also view the angles where filmmakers shot the scene where you can see the waiter mouthing off about baby that maybe "he picked the wrong sister." 

Not far away is Baby's cabin, where her and her sister stayed along with their parents. Ironically, one of the platforms I wasn't able to access is where her dad reflected looking out at the lake where Baby and dad had their main argument. That very terrace is used for weddings. The dance hall also had a family reunion in it during this visit.

Directly in front of Baby's bungalow are the steps she ran and danced up in different parts of the movie. I also learned after this visit, that the bridge she flips out in dance on we were unable to find since it's actually in Virginia. The famous lake lifts are actually filmed at the Virginia location too.

More bungalows are used in the movie, and I saw very few at the hotel of the main characters. I learned from a little research that they also used some buildings of a boys and girls camp that was in nearby Chimney Rock State Park as well. The camp closed just before the making of the movie, and that's why they were receptive to letting the crew stay there. It made for a last little push of cash. To learn more about the making of the movie, check out:

There are also Dirty Dancing tours and the like offered in the Lake Lure and Brevard areas of North Carolina. At points of the year that you can even rent a room at this hotel for just $99 a night. Lake Lure and the surrounding area is just breathtaking, and that alone makes it worth the trip.

Wanna get your Dirty Dancing moves on? Well, here's your chance, fashion-loves, there's even a Dirty Dancing Festival next month. They started the festival up when Johnny (Patrick Swayze) passed away. To purchase tickets, go to:

Thank you for joining me for my most beautiful blog yet. I hope you'll stay tuned for more movie magic blogs this year.

Until next time--

Stay fashionable and be blessed,

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