The actress said that her 'Dirty Dancing' co-star - who died after a long battle with pancreatic cancer at the age of 57 last September - taught her how to live life to the fullest and take on new challenges which led to her taking part in the celebrity dance contest.
She said: "Patrick was one of the most fearless people I've ever met. He really embraced life and was all about going for it."
Jennifer, 50, explained that since Patrick's death she has decided to be more adventurous.
She told US TV show 'Access Hollywood': "Life is short, baby. It is fragile. It is fleeting. And just because someone is there one minute, it does not mean they are going to be there the next. Once you feel that, and you can smell that kind of fragility, you've got to take some kind of action to counteract that."
She said: "I would be so grateful if she did, and if she didn't, I feel her support. She e-mailed me. She just said that she is rooting for me and proud of me."