Cut Loose!

When Footloose opened in movie theaters in 1984, it became an instant dance classic. Kevin Bacon played Ren McCormack—a city kid who moves to a small town and fights for his right to dance while falling in love with the preacher’s daughter.

Now, nearly three decades later, Footloose is back! Kenny Wormald, a familiar face from Center Stage: Turn It Up and MTV’s “Dancelife” (you probably also know him as a faculty member with JUMP), has taken over the part of Ren, and this time around his love interest is Julianne Hough of “Dancing with the Stars” and Burlesque fame. With choreography by Jamal Sims (is there anything this multitalented guy can’t do?) and Dondraico Johnson, plus a dancer-packed cast, this remake is sure to make a splash. But can it live up to the original? DS scored some time with rising star (and serious cutie) Kenny Wormald to get the full scoop on the flick.  —Alison Feller

Dance Spirit: How’d you get the leading role in Footloose?

Kenny Wormald: My acting agent called me about going to a general casting call audition for Ren. I knew the remake was happening, but I’d heard rumors about Zac Efron and then Chace Crawford being the lead. So when I found out they were opening casting to “unknown” actors, I was pumped. The casting director saw on my resumé that I danced for Justin Timberlake—and she contacted Justin after my audition to ask about me! The ball kept rolling from there: I auditioned a few more times, did a film test at Paramount Studios and made it down to the final cut with one other actor. I was golfing with a few friends when I got the call saying I had booked the job. I’ll never forget that moment. I went crazy and threw my golf club!

DS: Had you seen the original version of the film?

KW: Of course! Throughout my childhood I watched the movie many times. That scene with Kevin Bacon dancing through the warehouse…it’s iconic. It’s a powerful dance moment.

DS: How is the remake different from the 1984 movie?

KW: The culture is current and the music is relevant. We didn’t try to go back and repeat the ’80s. But we did stay true to the feel of the original, so if you liked that version you’ll get to revisit those emotions this time around. The team found a good balance between sticking with the original concept and adding elements from today.

DS: What are you most excited about?

KW: I’m excited to share the movie with the world! We’ve worked so hard for so long and have been anxiously awaiting the release. I’m excited to create a new generation of Footloose fans.

DS: Why should DS readers go see the film?

KW: It’s a new dance classic. This film will teach you to fight for what you believe in. Plus, they didn’t go and cast an actor who can’t dance—I hold it down for the dancers!

Latest Posts

Because there's never been a better time to binge-watch "Bunheads" (via Freeform)

5 of the Danciest TV Shows Streaming Right Now (and Where to Stream Them)

We're about two months into #SocialDisDancing, and let's be real—while we all wish we were spending every spare minute stretching, cross-training, or taking online classes, sometimes we just need to Netflix and chill.

We figure, if you're going to be watching TV anyways, why not make it dancy TV? After all, watching pros dance on-screen is basically dance class homework...or at least we'll say it is. Here are five of the danciest TV shows for you to watch—and where to find them.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
The cast of Center Stage in a promotional poster (courtesy Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

The Making of "Center Stage," as Remembered by Its Dance Stars

Whether you first watched it in a theater two decades ago or on Netflix last week, odds are you feel a deep connection to Center Stage. The cult classic, which premiered May 12, 2000, is arguably the greatest dance film ever made. (Dance obsessives might take issue with the "cult" before "classic," not to mention the "dance" before "film.") Jody Sawyer's ballet journey—which combines oh-wow-I've-had-those-blisters realism with wait-does-she-have-magic-color-changing-pointe-shoes fantasy—stands the test of time, early-aughts fashion be darned. We've memorized its highly quotable lines, laughed with (and, gently, at) its heroes, and been inspired by its sincere love of dance and dancers.

To celebrate Center Stage's 20th anniversary, we asked five of its dance stars to talk through their memories of the filming process. Here are their stories of on-set bonding, post-puke kissing scenes, and life imitating art imitating life.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

2020 Dance Grads: We Want to Put You on Our Cover!

Hello, all you members of the great Dance Class of 2020. With the world on lockdown, this hasn't been the graduation season you expected. You likely weren't able to go to prom; your commencement ceremonies have probably been delayed or canceled; and you might not have been able to take your planned-for final bow onstage.

Since you're missing out on so much, we'd like to give you a virtual ovation, to recognize all you've accomplished. And what's the highest honor we can bestow? The cover of Dance Spirit!

Here's the plan:

  • If you're a high school or college senior dancer, use this form to submit your information and dance portrait.
  • Each day during the month of May, we'll create a digital Dance Spirit cover starring one of you, chosen at random—31 covers in total.
  • At the end of the month, we'll create a "commencement video" featuring even more of your submitted dance photos.
  • 100 of you, selected by lottery, will also receive free one-year subscriptions to the print magazine.

Merde, 2020 graduates, as you dance your way into the future!

High School and College Senior Dancers: Submit Your Photo Here

Editors' Picks

Enter the Cover Model Search