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I’m still not sure how I feel about this Dirty Dancing remake business, but whether or not it’s necessary, the movie is happening. In the spirit of optimism I admit the movie is in good hands, with the original film's choreographer Kenny Ortega signed on to direct the remake. He doesn't just know Dirty Dancing, he knows dancing period, and will know to look for talent when recasting the iconic roles of Johnny and Baby.
Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey weren’t complete unknowns when they originated those characters, but they weren't household names either. Considering this, I sort of love the idea of two less-than-hugely famous actors/dancers coming in to fill Johnny and Baby’s shoes. I’d rather be reintroduced to the characters without being distracted by the great (or terrible) dancing abilities of Taylor Lautner, or whatever famous actor they'd bring in for the part.
So instead of speculating on which former High School Musical or current Glee star should land the big roles, what if we consider the idea that Ortega may cast dancers to play the leads? Swayze was a trained dancer before he started acting, after all. Ideally they'd have the ability to carry a dramatic scene just as well as they can move, but there's a reason the word "dancing" is in the title-- the people in this movie need to be able to move like no other.
It just so happens that Kenny Ortega is set to join the judges table as a guest judge on tomorrow night’s So You Think You Can Dance. Season 8 wraps up this week and America’s favorite dancer will be crowned. Could Ortega be using the opportunity to observe the contestants and all-stars to scout out potential talent for the Dirty Dancing remake? All we can do is speculate at this point, but the show certainly has some top-notch dancers on the stage this year and I can definitely picture some of them playing key roles or background dancers in the Dirty Dancing remake. That is, should they also happen to have the acting chops to match their moves. But based on what we've learned from some of their personalities through their dancing, they may have the presence to pull it off. Here are a few of my favorite SYTCYD contestants who could be a great fit for Dirty Dancing.
Role: Johnny Castle
Role: Frances “Baby” Houseman
Role: Penny Johnson
Some other favorites I’d love to see in the film, either in leads or as background dancers…