'Dirty Dancing' lake filled with water again after 12-year drought

Ethan Alter
·Senior Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
·2 min read
Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze in 'Dirty Dancing' (Photo: ©Vestron Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection)
Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze in 'Dirty Dancing' (Photo: ©Vestron Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection)

Dirty Dancing fans, prepare to have the time of your life all over again.

For years, visitors to the Mountain Lake Lodge in Pembroke, Virginia, where the 1980s classic was filmed were greeted with a dry bed where Mountain Lake used to be.

That’s the body of water where Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze) hoisted new dance partner Baby (Jennifer Grey) in the air as they prepared to wow the crowd at the all-important talent show that closed out the season at the film’s fictional Catskills resort. Twelve years after the water receded, recent news reports show that Mountain Lake is suddenly filled again ... and we owe it all to geological anomalies.

After the lake drained, researchers swarmed into the suddenly dry area to study why it dramatically flowed away like the wind. They eventually determined that Mountain Lake exists on a natural cycle of rising and receding waters thanks to its one-of-a-kind “plumbing” system consisting of small holes that routinely drain away the H2O.

The newly-filled Mountain Lake where 'Dirty Dancing' was filmed (Photo: WSLS via CNN Newsource/Twitter)
The newly-filled Mountain Lake where 'Dirty Dancing' was filmed (Photo: WSLS via CNN Newsource/Twitter)

“When the lake drains – when it actually empties out – it is cleaning itself by moving sediment that has accrued in the bottom of the lake down through that rather complex plumbing system to actually make the lake bigger, deeper, and to keep it clean,” Roanoke College environmental studies professor Jon Cawley told The Guardian in 2015.

Read more: Ghost star looks back at film 30 years on

Researchers have reportedly determined that Mountain Lake reaches its lowest point roughly every 400 years. That means that you’ll be able to practice your lifts up until the year 2420 when the area is poised to dry up completely again.

American actors Patrick Swayze (1952 - 2009) and Jennifer Grey star in the film 'Dirty Dancing', 1987. (Photo by /Getty Images)
American actors Patrick Swayze (1952 - 2009) and Jennifer Grey star in the film 'Dirty Dancing', 1987. (Photo by /Getty Images)

That also gives Lionsgate plenty of time to make their just-announced Dirty Dancing sequel. According to Deadline, the new film will take place in the 1990s — three decades after the ‘60s-era original — and would potentially bring back Grey as Baby. (Swayze died in 2009.) Of course, if Mountain Lake runs dry before the movie goes before cameras, they could venture back to North Carolina’s Lake Lure, where portions of the original movie were shot.

Some have even claimed that the lake scene was filmed there, but Mountain Lake Lodge claims ownership of Baby and Johnny’s dirty dancing ways. The resort even has a Dirty Dancing-themed weekend package that includes private dance lessons, a scavenger hunt, and, of course, a dance party to satisfy your hungry eyes. Never be sorry for wanting to recreate Johnny and Baby’s summer of love.

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