Lake lift contest

Lake Lift Competition participants from 2018 (Photo by: Buddy Morrison Photography)

LAKE LURE, NC (FOX Carolina) – Cue up the music and get ready to dance. The tenth annual Dirty Dancing Festival is back in Lake Lure starting Friday.

The festival celebrating the beloved ‘80s flick will continue through Saturday.

The festivities will include watermelon carrying contests, talent shows, and shag competitions. Just like in the 1987 movie, the highlight activity of the festival is the lake lift competition, which gives movie fans the opportunity to test their skills.

Earlier this summer, the festival shared these tips from Ann Dunn of the Asheville Ballet & Dance Company to execute the perfect lake lift.

Tip 1:

Practice with the guy lying flat on the floor to "feel" the center of balance for both of you (each person has their own center of balance, but in a lift you must share a mutual center of balance and it can be hard to feel). Do this before practicing in a vertical position - you need to know what balance feels like. Men, spread your fingers out wide and get the heel of your hand on her pelvis, without digging fingers into her lower abdomen. Both of you coordinate the deep knee bend before the jump and lift. 

Tip 2:

The lifter's arms must get straight, right beside his ears. Ladies, jump uphard and then aim over his head. Hold onto his wrists on the way up before opening the arms into the wing position. Remember, it takes both of you! Breathe together…go low together…find that moment when the balance is just right to begin the lifting motion. Trust your partners muscles. 

Tip 3:

When you do eventually get to the water, the lifter should be SURE his feet are on firm, even ground. Take a deep breath, bend the knees, and bounce upwards as the base partner lifts at the waist and hips. In sync, count to three…lifting on count three.

Tip 4:

The base partner holds (hold it, hold it, hold it!) position of the personin the air as long as possible. The person in the air holds their arms up and out to the side reaching for the beautiful blue Lake Lure sky. Keep those legs up, held tightly together and point your toes.

Visit to purchase tickets for the event.

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