I always thought of him as, first and foremost, a dancer.
This is a big reason why.
Not a fan of Dirty Dancing, I nevertheless found his easy, clear, sinuous movement entrancing; he was so comfortable in his own body, and his sense of joy at his own movement was palpable. Yet he wasn’t afraid to poke fun at the beefcake status he gained after the release of Dirty Dancing, as this Saturday Night Live clip demonstrates.
There was a real sense of play when he moved; a play with air, with limbs, with range of motion -and between floor and body, gravity and air. Like the great Hollywood dancers of the past, Swayze understood the theatre of dance -and the necessity of incorporating play within that theatre.
Thank you, Patrick.