Consequently, Vestron promoted the film themselves and set the premiere on August 16, Scenes filmed at Mountain Lake included the famous "water lift" scene, dining scenes, Kellerman's Hotel, the beach games, Penny crying in the kitchen, and the Houseman family's cabins. She initially wanted him to portray the social director but then later asked him to play the part of the magician. Ardolino had never directed a feature film, but was extremely passionate about the project; he even sent a message from where he was sequestered on jury duty, insisting that he was the best choice as director. Swayze and Grey stripped down to light summer clothing, to repeatedly dive into the cold water. However, the producers decided the scene worked as it was and put it into the film, complete with Grey's giggling and Swayze's annoyed expression. Pre-production[ edit ] Dirty Dancing is based in large part on screenwriter Eleanor Bergstein 's own childhood: They had already had trouble getting along in their previous project, Red Dawn , and worked things out enough to have an extremely positive screen test, but that initial cooperation soon faded, and they were soon "facing off" before every scene. Swayze was impatient to finish the scene and found Grey's behavior annoying. Bishop moved into the role of Mrs. However, the producers cut an erotic dancing scene from the script, much to her dismay. Bergstein then shopped the script around to other studios but was repeatedly rejected, until she brought it to Vestron Pictures, the newly formed studio division of Stamford, Connecticut , based Vestron Inc. The next choice was year-old Patrick Swayze , who had been noticed for his roles in Grandview, U. Grey was initially not happy about the choice, as she and Swayze had difficulty getting along on Red Dawn, but when they did their dancing screen test, the chemistry between them was obvious. The role of the social director went to the then unknown Wayne Knight of later Seinfeld and 3rd Rock from the Sun fame.