Patsy Swayze, a choreographer who helped teach her son Patrick everything he knew about dancing, died on Monday. She was 86 years old.
Swayze began dancing at a young age after a car accident led her mother to enroll her in classes as a sort of rehabilitation. She later founded the Houston Jazz Ballet Company, ran her own studio, and directed several classes in and around Houston. Her big break in Hollywood came with the 1980 John Travolta film “Urban Cowboy”, which she choreographed; the film opened other doors for her in the business as well, and she went on to choreograph “Liar’s Moon” and “Hope Floats”, among other projects.
Swayze was partly responsible for Patrick meeting the love of his life, as well; she ran the dance studio Lisa Niemi Swayze attended as a teenager. The couple married in 1975.
The choreographer counted actors Jaclyn Smith, Randy Quaid, Tommy Tune and Debbie Allen among her students, as well as her son Patrick, who starred in one of the most famous and beloved dance movies of a generation, “Dirty Dancing”.
Image: Orlando Sentinel