Jennifer Grey has only ever performed the famous lift in Dirty Dancing once – which was captured on camera for the final take of the movie.

The American actress shot to international fame after starring as Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman in the hit dance film alongside Patrick Swayze.

The couple perform the now-famous over-the-head dance lift in the movie, which Jennifer insists wasn’t as effortless as it appeared on screen.

“I think [I only did it] once, I was so frightened to do it. I’d do it in the water, but nowhere else. I literally wouldn’t,” she explained in an interview with BBC Breakfast. “I was really nervous. I’ve never done it since.”

Jennifer says Patrick was a source of inspiration throughout. The star revealed the late actor convinced her to do the daring move.

“Patrick said, ‘Come on man, you’ve got to practice. I’ve never dropped a woman in my life!’” she laughed.

Jennifer has since enjoyed the art of dance.

The star won the eleventh season of hit dance competition Dancing with the Stars with professional partner Derek Hough.

Jennifer says despite her starring role in Dirty Dancing, she is not a natural performer.

“Derek was frustrated because I’m not a dancer. I was only a weekend one. I put on Michael Jackson on my boom box,” she smiled. “I was a lover of dance.”

Jennifer confessed the show was hard work. The Golden Globe-nominated star says rehearsals were gruelling and often left her feeling vulnerable.

“It’s about embracing the opportunity and facing your fears. You have to dig so deep,” she recalled.

“Each week I didn’t feel ready. I could not get through a dress rehearsal without crying or some sort of drama. It’s very intense.”

Jennifer is appearing on the UK version of the show this weekend as a stand-in judge. The 51-year-old hopes to bring honesty to the panel of Strictly Come Dancing.

“I’m a really judgemental person!” she laughed.

“I have so much compassion, and I’m going to be really honest.”

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