Spending the summer at a Catskills resort with her family, Frances "Baby" Houseman falls in love with the camps dance instructor, Johnny Castle.
In 1963, Frances "Baby" Houseman, a sweet daddys girl, goes with her family to a resort in upstate New Yorks Catskill Mountains. Baby has grown up in privileged surroundings and all expect her to go on to college, join the Peace Corps and save the world before marrying a doctor, just like her father. Unexpectedly, Baby becomes infatuated with the camps dance instructor, Johnny Castle, a man whose background is vastly different from her own. Baby lies to her father to get money to pay for an illegal abortion for Johnnys dance partner. She then fills in as Johnnys dance partner and it is as he is teaching her the dance routine that they fall in love. It all comes apart when Johnnys friend falls seriously ill after her abortion and Baby gets her father, who saves the girls life. He then learns what Baby has been up to, who with and worse, that he funded the illegal abortion. He bans his daughter from any further association with "those people". In the first deliberately willful action of her life, Baby later sneaks out to see Johnny, ostensibly to apologize for her fathers rudeness, and ends up consummating her relationship with Johnny. A jealous fellow vacationer sees Baby sneaking out of Johnnys bungalow the next morning, and in an act of retribution, tells management that he is responsible for a theft the evening before, knowing he would not furnish his real whereabouts.