Dirty Dancing 101


If given the opportunity, I would teach a course on Dirty Dancing in a second. Besides being an iconic 80’s movie, the film covers a multitude of themes that will get young minds thinking more deeply about the world.

Yes, the movie involves a subculture of taboo dancing in a loose environment that includes little supervision and loads of underage drinking, but I argue that deeper messages and important life lessons elevate it to a level worth a semester of study. Some of the topics I would include are:

– Coming of Age
– Socioeconomic divide
– Abortion
– Women’s Lib
– Conformity
– Identity
– Love
– Cultural Evolution
– National Loss of Innocence
– Gender Norms and Biases

Next time you watch the movie (you know you suddenly want to!), give some thought to these topics. Have more ideas to add? Comment below!

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