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These students convinced Kevin Bacon to revisit his Footloose playground – a Utah high school | Radio-Canada

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As it happens6:30 a.m.These students convinced Kevin Bacon to revisit his Footloose playground – a Utah high school

Students at Payson High School in Payson, Utah, are bringing home the Bacon – Kevin Bacon, of course.

The star of the 1984 hit Free from all ties agreed to return to the high school where the film was filmed before the building was demolished after this school year.

“I’m speechless every time I think about it. It’s crazy. I don’t even have words to express,” said 10th grader Lauren Krout. As it happens host Nil Köksal. “I can’t believe we did it.”

Bacon made the announcement on Today’s showfollowing a campaign by students at the school, known as Bomont High in the film.

“I’m going to come. I have to come…Let’s dance,” Bacon told an assembly of students via video call Friday.

Krout, who got up at 3 a.m. to go to the assembly, couldn’t believe it.

“When he said it, me and a few other girls started crying. It doesn’t seem real,” she said.

Two teenage girls hold large cut-out faces of Kevin Bacon.
Krout, right, says this school year was all about Kevin Bacon and Footloose. (Submitted by Jenny Staheli)

Bacon in Payson

Students at Payson High School did everything they could to convince the movie star to return to school.

For the 40th anniversary of the film, the school presented Free from all ties: the musical. The school’s video production team re-shot scenes from the film. And the students started learning the dance steps from the film.

“The whole school year revolved around Footloose,” Krout said.

Students have tried to give a similar speech in the past. They pressured Bacon to visit for the film’s 25th anniversary, without success.

But this year there was a certain urgency. Next year, students will move to a new school, leaving behind the old halls, once danced by Kevin Bacon.

And Bacon didn’t let the students down.

“I’ve been so impressed with everything that’s going on there with this crazy idea to bring me back,” Bacon told students at the assembly.

“The movie and Payson High School were a big part of my life, and I was amazed at the work you all did with the musical, the flash mobs, and the recreations, and it didn’t go unnoticed by me .

A cardboard cutout of Kevin Bacon is in a room.
This cardboard cutout will be replaced by the man himself when Kevin Bacon visits the old Footloose set before the school’s prom. (Submitted by Jenny Staheli)

Still resonates

Krout told the story of Free from all ties and that of Payson High School students share some similarities. Although she wasn’t even born when the film was made, it still resonates today, she said.

In the film, Ren McCormack, played by Bacon, is a teenager from Chicago who moves to the small fictional town of Bomont. There, he fights to overturn a ban on dancing instituted by a local minister.

Ren must fight for what he wants, even if the odds are against them. Krout likens it to the uphill battle they fought to get an A-list movie star to visit their town of just over 22,000 people.

She says that while many adults helped along the way, it was the students who put in the effort.

“I think it’s so relevant. My friends and I have talked about it. I think high school kids, especially teenagers, have been ignored a lot,” Krout said.

“Teenagers deserve to be heard and they have things to say. And there is power in numbers and there is power in children…I think everyone can relate to not being heard by adults because we are children.”

Even if the students will leave the old premises of what was once Bomont High School, the memories will accompany them. Krout says they plan to move Ren McCormack’s locker and the homage to Bacon and the character to the new school.

Bacon won’t be at the prom, but he will be there on the day he hosts a fundraiser for his charity Six Degrees, which raises money and gives visibility to other charities in the United States. He will meet the students who worked so hard to get his attention.

“I think it’s going to be a really cool moment to meet and say, ‘We worked so hard to get you and you’re finally here,'” Krout said.

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