Most people who have been around for at least the last 30-40 years or so know that the late great Patrick Swayzee is one of the greatest dancers of his generation. After all, he’s the guy who brought us “Dirty Dancing,” and he was an amazing actor as well. What a lot of fans don’t know, however, is that he was married to the same beautiful lady for 34 years. And get this: she’s a professional dancer as well. Elisabeth Haapaniemi Swayze DePrisco, known at that time by her stage name of Lisa Niemi, was born as the only daughter in a Finnish-American family. After studying dance for all of her childhood and teen years, Lisa attended the Houston Ballet Dance Company, where she graduated in 1974. An accomplished dancer in her own right, she says that the first time she looked into Patrick Swayze’s eyes, “everything came alive.”
In 1994, Swayzee and some other stars came together to pay tribute to Grammy-winning superstar Whitney Houston at the World Music Awards. What people watching the show that night didn’t expect was a special performance from Patrick and his wife. For the first time ever on television, Patrick and his bride danced for the audience. It was just as breathtaking as you’d expect. Part of what made their dance so special was the music they chose to dance to. Their music choice was Whitney’s blockbuster hit “All The Man That I Need,” which was written by Michael Gore and Dean Pitchford. Although the song had previously been recorded by a singer named Linda Clifford in 1982, when Whitney put her stamp on it, it became a huge worldwide hit and quickly reached number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. It would go on to become Whitney Houston’s fourth-biggest Billboard hit of all time.
In 2009, Patrick Swayzee lost his battle with pancreatic cancer, leaving a heartbroken Lisa to carry on in his wake. After he died, Lisa said that when you lose someone, you never stop loving them. The relationship continues. It’s just different. She said that she still talks to him every day. The dance they performed together was 25 years ago, but this performance is as timeless as their love for each other.
Watch the video below.