“Footloose” Town Repeals No-Dancing Law After Over 50 Years

Caleb Tolin | July 20, 2018
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Fort Smith, Arkansas is a town of about 88 thousand that was made famous by the movie “Footloose” for their No Dancing on Sundays policy. Just recently, they repealed that law after over 50 years of it being on the books.


The ordinance, passed in 1953, was known by the locals as the “Footloose ordinance” since it was the basis for the 1984 Kevin Bacon film.

Prohibiting dancing on Sundays was only one part of the ordinance. Other provisions were prohibiting sales and most forms of labor on Sunday.

According to a report in the New York Post the then mayor said “It is ascertained and declared that present laws are inadequate to restrain public dances upon Sundays and that such dancing greatly endangers the public health, safety and welfare.”

City Director Andre Good was made aware of the ordinance by a resident who brought it to his attention because pretty much everyone just forgot it existed. No one had been arrested or ticketed for dancing on a Sunday in over two decades.

"If you don't care to dance on Sunday, that's fine," Good said. "We should all respect that. But let's not impose some outdated, outmoded morality code on all our fine fellow citizens."