Every girl has a "type."

For me, that type was defined the moment I watched the movie "Dirty Dancing."

Something happened to me which caused what I call the "Johnny Castle Effect."

Unbeknown to me, the character of Johnny Castle, played perfectly by Patrick Swayze (God rest his beautiful soul), would sum up what I'm attracted to in a man for the rest of my life.

Deep down, I guess I never really liked the prince and part of me, I believe even way before "Dirty Dancing," always gravitated toward guys with an edge - which explains why I always wished Barbie would leave college-prep Ken for one of the GI Joe or He-Man guys.

I never sought the good provider wrapped up in the Prince Charming package I read about in my storybooks. Disney princes kind of looked like wimps to me in their tights and fluffy shirts. Longing for the charm and chivalry every girl is supposed to dream of may or may not have ever existed in my life, but I can say with certainty it officially died when Johnny Castle dirty-danced into my life.

I would forever seek out the bad boy with a secret sweet, sensitive side that only I would see. If he happened to be able to dance like Johnny Castle while still exuding that hard-edged machismo that makes my knees weak, so be it.

There was also something about a leather motorcycle jacket that took shape in the form of various crushes involving '80s and '90s rock stars and every bad boy character on every TV show of my youth - from Mallory's boyfriend, Nick, on "Family Ties;" to Brian from "Head of the Class," and even in animated form as Trent from MTV's "Daria."

So, bad boys it is.

We could go on and on going into detail about my tendency to like guys I shouldn't and my lack of enthusiasm for men who friends and family deem perfect for me, but we aren't going to go there.

Instead, as promised, let's get ridiculous.

Because of the significant way "Dirty Dancing" influenced my life, I've often joked that, if I ever do decide to settle down, I should pay homage to the movie that molded what I fancy in the male species.

And now may I present to you, my not-even-close-to-serious, but maybe a little serious dream "Dirty Dancing"-themed wedding.

I should warn, if you have never seen this movie, this will make no sense to you and, also, even if you have seen this movie, odds are this will still make no sense to you.

I should also note, this is a fictional wedding which takes place in my imagination, not in a church, so please don't call Sound Off and condemn me to hell again.


The movie was said to take place in the Catskills, but I'd settle for any run-of-the-mill campground-like location. I'd want there to be a lake, though, so I could practice my dance moves, namely "the lift," ahead of time.

My attire

Although the jorts and tied-up white shirt with Keds was an awesome look on Baby, I'd probably opt for a dress that resembled the pink one she wears at the end of the movie while sitting in the corner, which we all know is not where anyone should put Baby.

Wedding party

My bridesmaids would have era-specific dresses inspired by the movie with one major requirement: when they spin, the dress flares out into a perfect circle, because I'm going to want them to spin when they dance at some point, and that just takes a spinning dance move to a whole other level.

Instead of flowers, they would carry watermelons and when they reached the top of the aisle, they would have the option of turning around and facing the attendees and saying under their breath, "I carried a watermelon?"

The men would all be in black pants with black fitted shirts; the groom would wear a white shirt.


I'm kind of all over the place when it comes to my initial walk down the aisle.

On one hand, one may immediately think I should run down the aisle and go directly into "the lift," but that would be wrong. That is something you want to build to, not something you throw out right out of the gate.

That aside, it's a toss up.

I'm torn between walking down a log bridging two pieces of land over a body of water like the dance practice scene where "Hey, Baby" by Bruce Channel is played, but I'm concerned about my sense of balance. Sure, I took a yoga class on Monday, but I'm not quite sure my center of balance would allow me to do such a thing in front of all my family and friends. I'm also pretty sure my future husband wouldn't want to fish me out of the water and face a soggy bride-to-be as we say our nuptials.

The other option would reference the scene in the studio when they are dancing to Mickey and Sylvia's "Love is Strange."

I was thinking I could do a cat-like crawl down the aisle while lip synching the song, but then again, I don't really think that's appropriate for a bride. There will be some family who are traditional there, so I don't want to freak them out too bad.

Maybe I will just dance down the aisle like Baby was doing when she was practicing on the little foot bridge to "Wipeout" by the Safaris.

All this is assuming my parents disown me once they find out my plans for my wedding - which they would never do. Oh, and nor would my grandparents ever 'roll in their graves' because of something I believe in, by the way. They were the most supportive people on this planet with anything I've ever done, no matter how much it contrasted with what they believed. They always encouraged me to express myself, be kind to others and never judge anyone lest I be judged, I'll have you know.

But anyway, obviously, if we're being serious, I'd want nothing more than to have my dad walk me down the aisle - and he's a good dancer, so he could probably learn those moves Baby did on the foot bridge pretty quickly.


The music would be from the 1960s with the occasional injection of the late '80s because, there's no way I'm having a "Dirty Dancing"-themed wedding without playing "She's Like the Wind" by the late Patrick Swayze. I'm guessing that would be the song for our first dance, then we'd move on to some risque routines involving the bridal party like what was going on at the place where Baby carried a watermelon.


We'd skip over some of the tragic downer parts of the movie and eventually break out the whole "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes routine which would signal the end of the evening as everyone gathered around to watch me, finally, after much clumsy practice, perform "the lift," which, hopefully, won't end with me sailing over "Johnny's" head and getting a concussion.

Then we'd speed away in his hot car never to be seen again, not even in a sequel, and live happily ever after.

(Hey, I promised you silly and you got something outright ridiculous. I'm a woman of my word. )

(Jenna Wasakoski, a News-Item editor, is a graduate of Von Lee School of Aesthetics and is certified as a professional makeup artist.)