Footloose? This Missouri Town Banned Dancing and Got Away With It
Some people laughed at the premise of the movie "Footloose". How could a town ban dancing? Did you know that a Missouri town really did ban dancing and they got away with it.
Idiot Laws shared the story of Purdy, Missouri. They made the news back in the 1980's when they refused to allow dances in the school district. Parents and students filed a lawsuit to try and force the school to allow dancing and the case went to the United States Supreme Court.
Initially the lawsuit prevailed as a US District Court judge lifted the ban, but that didn't last. As The New York Times reported way back in 1990, they got away with it as the court refused to overturn the ban.
Is dancing still illegal in Purdy, Missouri?
A saw a conversation on Idiot Laws where someone claimed a school dance was allowed by the school board back in 2009, but the Wikipedia page for Purdy, Missouri makes no mention of the ban being lifted.
Was Purdy, Missouri's school dance ban what Footloose was based on?
Actually, no. According to Looper, the 1984 version of Footloose was based on Elmore City, Oklahoma that also restricted dancing. Elmore City's law dated back to 1898 and made the news in 1979 which was noticed by the movie writers and resulted in Kevin Bacon's big dancing cinema hit.