Dance in Pop Culture

#tbt: Kevin Bacon Did Not Know What He Was Getting Himself Into With Footloose

Photo courtesy DM Archives

In the March 1984 issue of Dance Magazine, we went behind the scenes of Footloose. The film follows Ren, a teenager from Chicago who finds himself in a small town where dancing is banned.


Lori Singer, Kevin Bacon and director Herbert Ross on the set of FootlooseCourtesy DM Archives

Choreographer-turned-director Herbert Ross described his latest Hollywood venture as "a kind of Off-Broadway film: It relates strongly to dancing and...it uses dance as a metaphor for personal liberty and freedom." That theme comes to the fore when Ren expresses his anger and frustration through an athletic, dramatic solo—but Kevin Bacon didn't quite know what he was getting himself into when he first auditioned for the film.

Courtesy DM Archives

"I knew Herb Ross was a choreographer and came from a dance background," Bacon told us, "but if you read the script all it actually says is that we go to a dance. It says nothing at all about choreography. All it says about what turns out to be my big solo number is that Ren...drives along, parks his car, gets out, and dances. Little did I know..."

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