Dirty Dancing’s climactic musical number, ‘(I Had) The Time of My Life’ , was voted #86 on the American Film Institute’s 100 Years… 100 Songs.
Director Emile Ardolino was adamant that they choose dancers who could also act, as he did not want to use the “stand-in” method that had been used with Flashdance (1983). For the female lead of Frances “Baby” Houseman, Dirty Dancing screenwriter Eleanor Bergstein chose the 26-year-old Jennifer Grey, daughter of actor and dancer Joel Grey, who won an Oscar for his portrayal of the Master of Ceremonies in Bob Fosse’s Cabaret (1972).
They then sought a male lead, initially considering 20-year-old Billy Zane, but initial dancing tests when he was partnered with Grey did not meet expectations. The next choice was 34-year-old Patrick Swayze. He was a seasoned dancer, with experience from the Joffrey Ballet. Grey was initially not happy about the choice, as she and Swayze had had difficulty getting along on the movie Red Dawn, but when they did their dancing screen test, the chemistry between them was obvious. Bergstein described it as “breathtaking”. – Wikipedia
The very famous scene where Johnny and Baby are practicing their dancing and they are crawling towards each other on the floor wasn’t intended to be part of the film; they were just messing around and were warming up to do the real scene, but the director liked it so much he kept it in the film. – IMDB
The movie’s often-quoted line “Nobody puts Baby in the corner” (said by Swayze to Baby’s father played by Jerry Orbach) was voted as the #98 (out of 100) movie quote by the American Film Institute.