Payson High School celebrates 40 years of Footloose, inviting Kevin Bacon to upcoming prom

Feb 16, 2024, 6:39 PM | Updated: Feb 19, 2024, 7:46 am

PAYSON — More than 40 years ago, the cast and crew of the film Footloose took over Utah County. To celebrate the anniversary of the iconic 80s film, Payson High School students have been working for months to get actor Kevin Bacon’s attention.

Whether you have seen the film or even had the opportunity to be an extra, Footloose has made an impact on many throughout the state.

It’s hard to get caught up in the nostalgia while you walk through the halls of Payson High. Pictures are hung up on the walls where certain scenes were filmed. While it’s no longer occupied, even Kevin Bacon’s locker has a special plaque hung inside.

Students at Payson High School started the day with a Footloose pep rally celebrating the film. Earlier this year, the theater department put on a production of Footloose.

“Payson’s the one place where you could ask like 100 people and every single one has watched Footloose,” sophomore Scott Jardine said.

Jardine is one of several students who’s been a part of the #BaconToPayson campaign.

Students have been posting pictures with a life-sized Kevin Bacon cut out and recreating the memorable choreography around campus, posting the photos and videos they create on social media in the hope that Kevin Bacon will join them for their spring prom. Even Gov. Spencer Cox got in on the fun, posting a personal invitation on social media.

“It really is so fun for me to just walk down the hall and think they were right here,” said Student Council Advisor Jenny Staheli. “It’s been so much fun honestly to see the kids get so excited about something that is near and dear to my heart.”

Staheli said the theme of this year’s prom is none other than Footloose. “We’re going to have it in the gym, we’re going to decorate it like an 80’s prom.”

The morning of the prom, Payson High School is inviting the community to help them create resource kits in efforts with Kevin Bacon’s non-profit Six Degrees.

In honor of the film’s anniversary, Six Degrees is hoping to create 40,000 kits. Payson High School is aiming to contribute to 5,000 of those.

Staheli told KSL that the most rewarding part has been the community involvement.

“Really it has been a school-wide, community-wide, statewide, in a lot of ways, effort,” she said.

All of this in the hope that Kevin Bacon can get everyone dancing one more time.

“If he’s willing to take some time out of his schedule and come back and be a part of this, it’s a win for everyone, Staheli said.

The Payson High School Prom is scheduled for April 20. To learn more about Six Degrees, click here.

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Payson High School celebrates 40 years of Footloose, inviting Kevin Bacon to upcoming prom