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Professional ballet dancer’s viral video is a tribute to famous ‘Dirty Dancing’ scene

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A viral video is paying tribute to Dirty Dancing, the 1987 film starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. (Photo: Getty Images)

A professional ballet dancer put a spin on the iconic ending from Dirty Dancing in a lockdown video that shows his creativity.

Quinn Wharton of Brooklyn, N.Y., who formerly worked for the San Fransisco Ballet and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, has been sheltering in place at his parent’s Hawaiian home since March. Recently, a friend challenged him to shoot remakes of famous movie scenes, just for fun. “It wasn’t a bad idea,” Wharton, 33, tells Yahoo Life. “I only did it to make my friend laugh.”

At first, Wharton, who works as a freelance choreographer, videographer and photographer, chose his favorite scene from the 1987 film: when Jennifer Grey’s character Frances “Baby” Houseman carries a watermelon into a dance club and meets her love interest Johnny Castle for the first time. But it was tough to coordinate alone, so Wharton decided on the film’s final scene, where Baby and Johnny pull off mambo (with that tricky lift) to the song “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life.”

To depict Grey as his dance partner, Wharton affixed a lampshade to a broom handle, and for his role as Castle, he dressed in the character’s signature black clothing.

The video shows Wharton acting alongside a split-screen of the film’s clips, portraying Baby’s parents and sister, mouthing lines and mimicking Castle’s jump off-stage, a feat infused with classical ballet moves, a choreographer told ABC News in 2017. Wharton also recreated Baby rushing to Castle for the final dance lift, which the characters struggle to master throughout the film, with a video edit.

Wharton recorded the video in just one day while home alone. “I had to birth this in solitude and silence to take it seriously,” he tells Yahoo Life with a laugh.

With more than 80,000 likes on Instagram, Wharton’s work is well-received — one woman said it was a comforting reminder of her late mother’s favorite movie — and lovable nostalgia. “People are stuck inside and they’re scared and frustrated,” he tells Yahoo Life.

Wharton is already planning follow-up videos, the latest of which pays respect to the 1985 dance sequence in the film The Breakfast Club.

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