Kevin Bacon Revisits ‘Footloose’ High School, Dances Into Sunset Before Demolition


In a nostalgic reliving of his cinematic past, actor Kevin Bacon revisited the hallowed halls of Payson High School, Utah – the very location where the iconic film “Footloose” was shot over four decades ago. Seizing the chance to relive his glory once more on this auspicious occasion, Bacon danced his way across the school’s athletic field before a swarm of awe-struck students.

This meaningful visit marked the school’s last prom event, adding a dash of bittersweet to Bacon’s triumphant return. With a slated demolition planned for next spring, his participation in the milestone added a significant coat of glitz to the impending closure.

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Bacon, ever gracious, credited the students for his visit. His surprise appearance was captured in a video footage circulated by ABC 4 from Salt Lake City, revealing the actor stating with appreciation: “You talked me into it. I’m thrilled to witness this level of commitment towards anything. It’s astounding to realize what a unifying force this movie has been.”

Bacon’s role as the rebellious Chicago teen who challenges a small town’s ban on dancing in “Footloose” clearly still resonates with Payson’s student body. The film’s influence is undiminished even after the passage of 40 years, the students’ decision to frame their final prom around a “Footloose” theme is a testament of the film’s enduring appeal.

Inhabited by about 21,000 people, Payson lies 60 miles to the south of Salt Lake City. The principal, Jesse Sorenson, revealed that students had been persistently urging Bacon to pay a visit over the years.

What began as tongue-in-cheek social media requests evolved into an extensive community drive uniting with Bacon’s charity, SixDegrees. To lure the star into town, students pledged to assemble 5,000 care packages for the charity.

In a grassroot effort, students penned hopeful messages for care package recipients over several weeks, partnered with the Utah Film Commission and SixDegrees to solicit funds and donations. Toiletries, clothing, and other necessities were collected to fill up the backpacks, narrated Sorenson.

True to his word, Bacon joined the action on Saturday, assisting in packing the bags amidst an estimated crowd of 700 students and 300 community members.

Sorenson, a proud Payson High School alumnus from the class of 1995, fondly recalled the evergreen tradition of playing the title track “Footloose” at every prom. The students would enthusiastically re-enact the film’s legendary dance routine while the older townsfolk shared their experiences of serving as extras in the film and identified locations featured in the movie throughout Payson.

The prominent memory of “Footloose” to Payson locals, according to the principal, offers an immense source of pride and is an entity that fuels their collective fun and joy.

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Melinda Cochrane is a poet, teacher and fiction author. She is also the editor and publisher of The Inspired Heart, a collection of international writers. Melinda also runs a publishing company, Melinda Cochrane International books for aspiring writers, based out Montreal, Quebec. Her publication credits include: The art of poetic inquiry, (Backalong Books), a novella, Desperate Freedom, (Brian Wrixon Books Canada), and 2 collections of poetry; The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat, (Backalong Books), and She’s an Island Poet, Desperate Freedom was on the bestseller's list for one week, and The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat is one of hope and encouragement for all those living in the social welfare system. She’s been published in online magazines such as, (regular writer for) ‘Life as a Human’, and Shannon Grissom’s magazine.