Kevin Bacon Fulfills His Promise to Footloose School

Actor visited Utah's Payson High School, where 'Footloose' was shot, on prom day
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2024 7:21 AM CDT
Updated Apr 27, 2024 6:30 AM CDT
UPDATE Apr 22, 2024 1:30 AM CDT

Kevin Bacon on Saturday fulfilled his promise to students at Utah's Payson High School—where he filmed Footloose four decades ago—when he showed up on campus on prom day. "It's been a long time—40 years—that just blows my mind, you know," the actor said in a speech to students. "Things look a little different around here. I'd say the thing that looks the most different is me." Students worked together to create 5,000 "essential resource kits" for Bacon's nonprofit foundation,, which provides them to communities in need, ABC4 reports.

Mar 25, 2024 7:21 AM CDT

According to Bacon's Law, aka the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, every Hollywood actor can be tied to the 65-year-old Bacon within just six steps. Students in Utah are about to narrow that status for themselves by one degree, after Bacon, in tandem with the movie's 40th anniversary, agreed to visit the high school where his cult classic Footloose was filmed in the early '80s.

  • Backstory: Utah's Payson High School was where Bacon's Ren McCormack shows up in the movie and tries to overturn a local ban on dancing. Today notes that the specter of Bacon and the movie still floats around the school, including with a locker dedicated to him that a reporter describes as a "time capsule."

  • Demise: The high school is set to be knocked down later this year, meaning students will be relocated to another building, per the Hill and USA Today. Students there decided that, before the high school-turned-movie set is turned to rubble, Kevin Bacon should come for one last goodbye, at prom.
  • Alerting Bacon: Payson students set to work to get Bacon's attention about their invite, learning dance moves from Footloose and re-creating scenes from the film, then posting them on social media with the hashtag #BaconToPayson.
  • Big announcement: On Friday, students at Payson gathered for an assembly, where Bacon himself showed up via livestream. "I've been amazed at the work that all of you have been putting into this, with the musical and the flash mobs and the re-creations," Bacon told them, per Today. "It hasn't gone unnoticed by me." He then added, with a smile to the wildly cheering crowd: "And I'm gonna come. I gotta come."
  • The visit: Bacon won't be at prom itself, but he will show up at Payson on prom day to attend an event the students are holding to benefit his charity. Jenny Staheli, the school's student council adviser, tells Today how proud she is of what the students pulled off. "To watch them just take ownership of that and run with it has been ... it succeeded beyond my wildest dreams, honestly."
(More Kevin Bacon stories.)

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