Photo courtesy DM Archives

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

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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Clockwise from top left: Photo by Loreto Jamlig, Courtesy Ladies of Hip-Hop; Wikimedia Commons; Photo by Alexander Iziliaev, Courtesy Pennsylvania Ballet; Natasha Razina, Courtesy State Academic Mariinsky Theatre; Photo by Will Mayer for Better Half Productions, Courtesy ABT

The 10 Biggest Dance Stories of 2019

What were the dance moments that defined 2019? The stories that kept us talking, week after week? According to our top-clicked articles of the year, they ranged from explorations of dance medicine and dance history, takedowns of Lara Spencer and companies who still charge dancers to audition, and, of course, our list of expert tips on how to succeed in dance today.

We compiled our 10 biggest hits of the year, and broke down why we think they struck a chord:

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Christopher Duggan, Courtesy Nichols

I Am a Black Dancer Who Was Dressed Up in Blackface to Perform in La Bayadère

On Instagram this week, Misty Copeland reposted a picture of two Russian ballerinas covered head to toe in black, exposing the Bolshoi's practice of using blackface in the classical ballet La Bayadère. The post has already received over 60,000 likes and 2,000 comments, starting a long overdue conversation.

Comments have been pouring in from every angle imaginable: from history lessons on black face, to people outside of the ballet world expressing disbelief that this happens in 2019, to castigations of Copeland for exposing these young girls to the line of fire for what is ultimately the Bolshoi's costuming choice, to the accusations that the girls—no matter their cultural competence—should have known better.

I am a black dancer, and in 2003, when I was 11 years old, I was dressed up in blackface to perform in the Mariinsky Ballet's production of La Bayadère.

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Here's the First Trailer for the "In the Heights" Movie

Lights up on Washington Heights—because the trailer for the movie adaptation of the hit Broadway musical In the Heights has arrived. It's our first look into Lin-Manuel Miranda's latest venture into film—because LMM isn't stopping at three Tony awards, a Grammy award, and an Emmy.

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