Students campaigned for Kevin Bacon to attend final prom at ‘Footloose’ school, and he said yes

Payson High School students and Kevin Bacon
TikTok/AP Photo

Kevin Bacon will kick up his heels at the prom this spring back at the school where he made one of his most famous films.

The “Footloose” star will return to Payson High School in Utah to join students in celebrating their final prom. This school served as one of the locations for the 1984 movie, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.

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It’s taken nearly two years for Payson High School’s #BacontoPayson social media campaign to bring Bacon back to his old stomping grounds. From recreating iconic “Footloose” scenes, performing the musical and direct appeals, the Payson Lions went all out to grab Bacon’s attention.

@paysonhighschool We’re back! Day 135 (technically) of trying to bring @Kevin Bacon ♬ original sound – Payson High

Their most ambitious campaign started to be released by one of the school’s video classes, which recreated a film trailer and released a few episodes of their take on “Footloose.”

Time has been critical for Payson High School, because the building used in “Footloose” is scheduled to be demolished after this school year. If Bacon was going to come back, this had to be the year.

Then, on Monday, students were called into the gym for a surprise. Representatives from NBC’s “Today” talked with the students about their efforts and then brought Bacon into the conversation via Zoom.

“I have been so impressed with everything gong on there with this crazy idea to get me to come back,” Bacon told the student body. “It hasn’t gone unnoticed by me…And, I’m gonna come. I gotta come. ”

@todayshow #Footloose was filmed at Payson High School in Utah, and for months, the students there have tried to get the actor to attend this year’s prom, which will be the last at the building as the school will be relocating at the end of the academic year. Students put on an all-out blitz to get Bacon to come to their prom, using the hashtag #BaconToPayson, re-creating scenes from the movie, learning the “Footloose” dance and hosting an event on prom day to benefit Bacon’s charity, sixdegrees.org . #TODAYShow ♬ original sound – TODAY Show

Bacon also told the students he appreciated how their social media efforts also raised awareness of his charitable foundation, SixDegrees.org, which the actor created to help bring connection to people’s lives through youth programming around the country.

“I think that’s the reason it’s resonated so deeply with people,” Payson High School Student Council Advisor Jenny Staheli told KUER 90.1. “I think it’s really because this is, this is such a feel-good idea that we can all get behind and we can all agree that good things need to happen in the world, and unexpected kindnesses are worth it.”

Payson High School students and Bacon will celebrate at the prom on April 20.

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About the Author
Marie Rossiter
Marie is a freelance writer and content creator with more than 20 years of experience in journalism. She lives in southwest Ohio with her husband and is almost a full-fledged empty nest mom of two daughters. She loves music, reading, word games, and Walt Disney World.

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