What Line Dance is in the Movie Footloose? Is it Easy to Learn?

As someone that loves line dancing, it is exciting to see line dancing get a little extra exposure in, say, a major movie or tv show. That’s exactly what happened back in 2011 with the remake of the movie Footloose! Early in the movie the 4 main characters (Ren, Ariel, Willard, and Rusty) go to the big city and get in on some country line dancing. The line dance is pretty easy to see and very intriguing and many have been curious what it is called. But between the name of the song heard and the name of the movie, there seems to be some confusion! This post will break it all down and should answer all questions!

The line dance in the 2011 remake of Footloose is Fake ID, choreographed for and danced to Big and Rich’s song Fake ID. The Choreographers were Jamal Sims & Dondraico Johnson.

That’s really all you need to know if you were just wondering what the dance is, but read on to see why it could be confusing and also to find out more about the dance and best of all how to learn it yourself!

How People Get Confused about the Line Dance in Footloose

It can be a little confusing to people what the line dance might have been for a few reasons. Firstly, at least one resource online confuses the dance with another dance Jamal Sims choreographed for a different movie. Back in 2009, Jamal was the choreographer for the dance scene in the Hannah Montana Movie and created Hoedown Throwdown. So, that’s the first thing! The line dance in Footloose is not Hoedown Throwdown! It’s Fake ID.

Next, it might be confusing, simply because there is a line dance called Footloose. And as with many popular songs, there will always be choreographers that will create their own line dance for a given song. Footloose is no different! There are (when I counted) about 21 versions! With so many Footloose line dances out there it makes sense people would just assume that in the Movie it must be one of them. But it is not! It is Fake ID.

Finally, there’s a very popular line dance called Slappin’ Leather that was choreographed for the original song of the same name as the movie. I’m guessing this has led some to think that line dance is the one in the movie. but it is not! The line dance in Footloose is Fake ID!

But as a side note, Slappin’ Leather is a very fun line dance and easier to learn by far than Fake ID! I’ve included Slappin’ Leather in my list of 20 Beginner Line Dances You Need to Know! post. Click here and click on #16 in the list to watch a video, download the step sheet, and learn Slappin’ Leather!

Is it Easy to Learn the Line Dance Fake ID?

As I just mentioned Slappin’ Leather is an easier dance to learn than Fake ID. So, yes Fake ID is actually a pretty hard dance to learn. If you are a beginner it might take some effort. But if you can hang in there and get it, beginner dances will be a breeze! Below are 3 videos showing how to do the line dance Fake ID. To get an idea of how the dance stacks up in degree of difficulty here are some stats about the dance:

Original Choreography:

Count: 48Tag: After each wallWall: 1Level: Intermediate
The official Fake ID video being taught by the choreographers Jamal Sims & Dondraico Johnson. This is cool to see the actual choreographers teach the steps to the Fake ID line dance from Footloose! Watch ’til the end when they dance in sync with the Footloose movie clip!

Modified Choreography:

Count: 48Tag: After first wallWalls: 4Level: Intermediate
See?! This video has the title “Footloose!” No! this is Fake ID! This is just another teaching of the dance and varies slightly to make it a 4 wall dance. (Part 1 of 2)

This is part 2 of the teaching video. This will go over the tag that starts the dance on wall 1 like Jamal’s but then shows how it can be a 4 wall line dance from that point forward.

This is a great demo of the dance with all the sections/tags noted as it progresses.

I’ve included these last three videos because at least in Southern California this is the version of Fake ID people are learning and dancing. And I won’t lie, the original choreography is already pretty challenging, but this 4 wall version with 3 tags is even trickier. If you’re new to line dancing and you just said: “what’s a tag?” Click here for an explanation of tags.

Step Sheet: Click here to download.


Comparing the Dancing in the 1984 & 2011 Footloose Movies

While the music and dancing are different, the storyline and dialogue are surprisingly identical. The new movie really doesn’t get ambitious and stray too far from the original. I think the movies complement each other well. There are parts of the original that are superior to the redo, but also scenes in the remake that explore the moment more and take things to a new place.

For example, the death-defying, heart-pounding early scene of Ariel recklessly straddling the two speeding vehicles toward an oncoming semi is not recreated in the 2nd movie. However, it does depict the original tragedy that is the foundation for the story. It’s heart-stopping as you immediately know no one survives.

The car accident that kills 5 high school kids in Bomont is tragic and leads to the town’s conclussion that rock ‘n’ roll music, alcohol and dancing are to blame. Dancing is outlawed… until city boy Ren comes to town to shake things up.

But back to the dancing and music of the movies…

The Original Footloose movie with choreography by Herbert Ross is super fun and explosive. In general, the dancing in the original feels more authentic and raw. More spontaneous and, more rebellious.

The new Ren actually seems less rebellious and more clean cut. The dancing follows in some way. I think the main difference in dance scenes between the two movies would be the scene that features the line dance Fake ID. In the original, the music heard is Hurt So Good and Footloose. In the new movie, the scene is far more developed with the much more choreographed dance scene featuring the line dance Fake ID to the Big and Rich song Fake ID.

Jamal Sims’ Goal for the 2011 Footloose Choreography

When interviewed Jamal Sims working for Craig Brewer (the director of Footloose) said their goal was to “catch the spirit” of the original and not to create something over the top. They wanted to maintain the Southern homeyness of the original but interject modern dance moves into it. I think they were successful. 27 years after the original release, Craig Brewer and Jamal Sims gave us a modernized high-res version of Footloose for a new audience.

The final video embedded here is the scene including the line dance Fake ID. One thing for sure is that it’s energetic and fun and I’m sure it has led to lots of people wanting to learn it and even get further into line dancing.

Footloose line dancing scene when Ren, Ariel, Willard and Rusty cross the state line to go dancing.

Footloose Movie Soundtracks Compared

Besides the dancing and the different choreography, just for fun, here’s a comparison of the actual music. Both movies took most of their soundtrack from modern songs of their time, but the remake also kept several from the original.

1984 Footloose Original Soundtrack: (In order of occurrence)

Song Artist Movie Scene
The Girl Gets Around Sammy Hagar Ariel straddling the car & truck
Dancing in the Sheets Shalamar Hi-Spot Drive-In Theater scene
Bang Your Head Quiet Riot Getting pulled over by cop scene
Somebody’s Eyes Karla Bonoff Ariel and Chuck’s picnic
Holding out for a Hero Bonnie Tyler Tractor chicken race scene
Never Moving Pictures Ren’s angry dance scene
Hurts So Good John Mellencamp Dance club scene
Waiting for a Girl Like You Foreigner Dance club scene
Footloose Kenny Loggins Dance club scene
Let’s Hear it for the Boy Deniece Williams Teaching Willard to dance scenes
I’m Free Kenny Loggins Final dance preparation scene
Almost Paradise Ann Wilson and Mike Reno Slow dance at the prom scene

2011 Footloose Original Soundtrack: (In order of occurrence)

Song Artist Movie Scene
Footloose Blake Shelton Title and kids driving off
Where the River Goes Zack Brown Ren MacCormack coming into town
Walkin’ Blues CeeLo Green Car repair scene
Bang Your Head Quiet Riot Car repair scene
Suicide Eyes Thousand Horses Race track scene
Holding Out for a Hero Ella Mae Bown Quiet scene of Ren at home
Catch Hell Blues The White Stripes Angry dance scene
Fake ID Big & Rich Dance club scene
Let’s Hear It for the Boy Deniece Williams Teaching Willard to dance scenes
Little Lovin’ Lissie Final dance preparation
Almost Paradise Victoria Justice and Hunter Hayes Slow dance at the prom scene

Brian Sheridan

I'm the owner of CDT. I live in Fullerton, California, and enjoy country dancing with my friends at least once a week.

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