Footloose missed a huge chance to do something great. It’s biggest mistake though was in the following scene. The main character is starting a petition to repeal a ban on public dancing in the small town that he was forced to move to after his mother died. His aunt comes into his room as he’s writing his speech to recite in front of the stiff governing body who passed the law and would have to overturn it, and she asks, “Why is dance so important to you?” “Because I want to stand out. I don’t want to disappear like everyone else,” he replies as he looks over at a photo of his mother. Yuck!
The more appropriate and realistic answer for me would have been to deliver a heartfelt monologue about how it is a release for pent-up emotions, a creative outlet, or anything that had to do with freedom, feelings, emotions and joy. The town was repressive and banning dance was just a part of it.
It’s not like we didn’t see this answer expressed in dance earlier in the film. The guy’s angry and frustrated at everybody in town for picking on him, and he drives to an empty warehouse where he dances wildly while he thinks of each irritating person and the infuriating thing they said to him in the past few days. If that outpouring of emotion in body form was expressed in words, that would have been the correct answer for auntie.
I picked this pic because the guy friend on the right is the best character in the movie.