Written By: Emma Grasskopf
Any time I am in a bad mood, I have the immediate cure.
I watch a 80s dance movie.
The Holy Trinity of 80s dance films (Flashdance, Footloose and Dirty Dancing, OBVIOUSLY) have the power to raise me out of whatever funk I’m in (and lately, I’ve just sort of been feeling very funky as a person) and put me in a mood good enough to handle whatever is coming my way.
And why is that?
1. Hot male leads. This isn’t as much true for Flashdance (since Alex’s beau was her kinda-creepy older boss), but Kevin Bacon and Patrick Swayze get endless points for SHAKIN’ THEIR THANG in tight pants and t-shirts. Everybody loves a guy with rhythm.
2. Inspirational underdog stories. All of our 80s heroes and heroines from these films had to overcome judgement and societal stigmas, and it’s just so damn inspiring. Who can’t get behind a character named “Baby” who learns how to dance like a champ in less than a week? Just like I said: in-fricking-spiring.
3. Great fashion. I’ve never seen denim shorts rocked harder than in Dirty Dancing, prom fashion as killer as in Footloose, and in Flashdance? It’s just one iconic leotard look right after the other. 11/10.
4. The soundtracks. Come on, do I even have to explain this one? We’re looking at “Holding Out for a Hero”, “Hungry Eyes”, “Maniac”, and “I’ve Had the Time of My Life”, as well as, like, 15 other BANGERS, honestly. Some of the most quintessential 80s songs come from these movies. Any of these songs have the power to singlehandedly lift me out of whatever bad mood I’m in, and anyone that wants to fight me on that can make their way to Roanoke College and find me.
5. The hair. 80s hair. I don’t really have to say any more, do I?
6. THAT ONE SCENE FROM DIRTY DANCING. You know the one I mean. When she goes into Patrick Swayze’s cabin and puts her mouth on him? Yeah, that one. I love it. I am emotionally compromised from the second she knocks on his door with a timid little, “can I come in?”
I think my point is made. I’m in the most stressful part of my semester currently (though, to be honest, I’ve been stressed since the semester began in January), and my method of choice to blow off steam and destress in the final weeks before summer is going to be watching these cheesy gems and pretending that I, too, am an exotic dancer from Pittsburgh, or a rebellious kid from Chicago, or a privileged girl with the misfortune of being called “Baby” who falls in love with Patrick Swayze and his tight t-shirts.