Everyone here at Dance Teacher was extremely saddened to hear that actor and dancer Patrick Swayze was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Movie buffs will recall Swayze’s roles in favorites such as Ghost, Road House and To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar (in which he played a woman.) But dance aficionados everywhere know him best as Johnny Castle in the beloved 80s hit, Dirty Dancing and later his Chippendale-inspired dance off with Chris Farley on “Saturday Night Live.” The actor didn’t have to look far to develop his love of dance, his mother, Patsy, owned and taught at her own dance school. Swayze went on to train at the Harkness School and the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City.
Many DT staffers had the pleasure of meeting the actor in person, when he made a surprise appearance at our 2005 Summer Conference. “I spent a lot of time at dance conventions,” Swayze said at the event. “Being at this conference feels just like being back home.” He generously stayed for more than four hours to talk with and sign autographs for each and every excited fan who lined up to meet him.
Swayze is still inspiring many by continuing to work through his treatment. Our prayers and thoughts are with him during this difficult time.