From the famed lift to the different choreographed dances on Dirty Dancing, any inexperienced dancer would have trouble getting those down in time to make them look as good as the original. But since Abigail Breslin definitely looks good on paper as the new Baby and star of the remake, does Abigail Breslin have dance experience? The Dirty Dancing reboot basically forced her to learn the skill since before all of this she had zero experience with dancing, let alone the level of expertise that was required to excel in the role.
Breslin told Entertainment Tonight that although she was more than ready to learn how to dance to fit in with the character she took on for the Dirty Dancing reboot, it was still scary to take on so much. “I was like, 'Ugh, I want to be like Baby. I want to dance like that,'" Breslin said. "But I'm the most uncoordinated human being on the face of the Earth, so it didn't seem like a likely scenario for me."
In fact, it took eight weeks to get the famous lift down for Breslin and the Johnny Castle of the reboot, Colt Prattes. "I was terrified," Breslin told ET. "I could, like, feel my heart racing so much. And then when I was up there and we held it, I was just like, 'Ahhh! I did it. I'm here.'" The iconic move in the original Dirty Dancing took Jennifer Grey’s Baby a long to get it right on camera as well and now it seems like Breslin’s own lack of dance experience in real life mirrored her character, which likely made for a more authentic transformation onscreen.
Prattes spoke to the New York Post about his own extensive dance experience and working with Breslin, who he seemed to sympathize with during the lift scene.
"Abby had never danced before, and she openly said in an interview about how nervous she was about whoever her Johnny was gonna be," Prattes said. "Because if you haven’t danced, you haven’t been lifted. And if you haven’t been lifted, when your eye line goes from four or five feet off the ground to 10 feet off the ground, it’s terrifying."
Breslin, who has been pretty vocal about her lack of dance experience from the beginning, told Entertainment Tonight at the Director’s Guild Awards in 2016 that although she didn’t have any experience prior to the Dirty Dancing reboot on ABC, she was "stoked for it." She also said that she hoped to be able to do Baby justice and judging by the promos and photos for the reboot set to air on May 24 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, she may have been the best choice for the role.