Jack, get back! The 30th anniversary of Elmore City's first prom will be held April 17 in the tiny South Oklahoma town.
That's really not news until you consider all that Elmore City students had to do to have a school dance. Their fight for their right to party served as the basis for the 1984 movie "Footloose," which made a star of Kevin Bacon, was adapted for Broadway, and is slated for a remake to begin lensing this month by Paramount Pictures.
Enacted back in the late 1800s, an old law prohibited dancing within Elmore City limits. For years, students had asked to be allowed to have a prom, only to be told "no" time and time again because it would be against the law, and the puritanical school board never would allow it. Until the 1979-1980 school year, that is.
That's when members of the junior class " responsible for planning the annual, dance-free banquet " set out to change the law keeping them from exercising their burnin' yearnin' to kick off their Sunday shoes.
"We were told the school board was afraid things would get out of hand, so they were condemning us before we ever did anything wrong," Leonard Coffee, one of two students upon whom the Bacon character was based, told Oklahoma Gazette in 2004. "Living in the Bible Belt, I understood their viewpoint, but I didn't see why that should keep those of us without religious convictions from dancing. But once we all started talking, we had the support of several teachers and our sponsors, and it snowballed from there."
Lisa Rollings, Elmore City's city clerk and treasurer, said the town's first-ever street dance will be held the same night: "So it should be fun."
If CFN were a betting man, we'd bet it all that some Shalamar and Bonnie Tyler will be blasting before last dance.