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Texas Teens Fight Anti-Dancing Law in 'Footloose' Remake

Scene from "Footloose"

A Texas town where teenaged dancing is banned is the setting for the latest remake in Hollywood's infatuation with the 1980's. Here's a look at Footloose, the new version of a favorite film from the middle of that decade.

"Public dancing is against the law if you're under 18 in Bomont."
"You're kidding me. Dancing is against the law?"

Ren McCormack has just moved from Boston to rural Bomont, Texas.

"Is that the new kid my mom introduced me to at church?"
"He sure is. He's cute."
"You think everybody is cute."
"I know, but I think he's cute."

Julianne Hough in a scene from "Footloose"
Julianne Hough in a scene from "Footloose"

High school beauty Ariel is attracted to Ren. They both love to dance, but Bomont's city leaders made that illegal a few years earlier after several teens were killed in a car crash returning home from a party that included dancing.

"We cannot be missing from our children's lives. They are ours to protect."

The local preacher, who also happens to be Ariel's father, heads the anti-dance movement.

DAD: "I don't want you to see that boy."
ARIEL: "Why?"
DAD: "Because I've heard he's trouble."

With Ariel's help, Ren organizes the local teens to protest the law so they can finish high school with a traditional "prom."

Footloose director Craig Brewer believes the themes are as relevant today as they were when the original was made in 1984.

Julianne Hough, right, and Kenny Wormald in a scene from "Footloose"
Julianne Hough, right, and Kenny Wormald in a scene from "Footloose"

"When there is a tragedy …a threat of our children being in harm's way …we will pretty much overreact until the cows come home," Brewer says. "We will come with laws, stipulations and rules and they all make sense. We all go 'I completely agree we need to do that.' Then somehow down the line things get a little bit skewed and we say 'you know what, I know that we created these things for our freedoms [but] now I feel like I have less freedom."

"My name is Ren McCormack, and I want to move on behalf of most of the senior class of Bomont High that the law against public dancing within the town limits be abolished. There was once a time for that law, but not any more. This is our time."

Kenny Wormald in a scene from "Footloose"
Kenny Wormald in a scene from "Footloose"

The Footloose cast includes several newcomers with considerable dancing skill. Julianne Hough, a contender on the TV show "Dancing With The Stars," plays Ariel. Kevin Bacon played Ren in the 1984 version. The new film features stage, screen and music video performer Kenny Wormald.

"Growing up dancing your whole life, you see these kind of movies and watch them over and over again because they are just strong memories as a kid and inspiring," Wormald says. "You look forward to seeing these kinds of films. To also get to recreate it and hopefully do with this what the original did for so many people, if I can affect just one or two kids to want to dance or do what they want to do, I think that's incredible."

Still, Craig Brewer says he knew that longtime fans of the original might object to the remake.

"People are saying 'you can't remake Footloose or 'they're going to ruin this classic,' and I can't help but be a little bit bitter about it. But primarily what I've learned is it's just arrogant for people my age to look at 13-year-olds and say the only way you can experience this is the way I did with Kevin Bacon," explains Brewer. "I understand where they are coming from, but really we need a new version of this movie for audiences."

Footloose features a danceable soundtrack with current hits and updated versions of songs featured in the original.