Movie B-School: Gain support for your cause with Footloose

3 minute read

Alright folks, it’s time to talk classics. By classics, I of course do not mean Gone With the Wind or Casablanca. I’m referring to the epically underrated, purely 80’s, dance-rom-com known the world over as “that Kevin Bacon movie where he gets mad and dances,” aka Footloose.

For those poor souls who have yet to witness the Bacon greatness of this film, it follows Ren, who moves to a small town with his mom following his parents’ divorce. Ren is from the mean streets of Chicago, and obviously not attuned to country life in Oklahoma or chicken fights on tractors. The REAL point of contention in Ren’s new life, however, is the town’s law against dancing – it will not be tolerated under any circumstances. The Bacon-ator just needs to dance it out sometimes, though, and he isn’t going to stand for such a law. His mission is made clear: Bring back dancing with a Senior Prom.

Much like Ren’s struggle to find backers for his school dance, it can be difficult to find support within your office when you have a new process or idea you’d like implemented. Every company has at least one Reverend Moore-type that wants to poo-poo your parade. Here’s a few tips from Ren on how to gain support for your office cause and turn the haters into backers.

Movie B-School: Gain support for your cause with FootlooseDon’t know a dance from a dipstick

Ren first includes his new friends in his plan for a prom, and then opens it up to the student body. In one of the movie’s most awesome montages, he even decides to teach Willard (Chris Penn) how to dance before he moves forward with the dance plan, so Willard will have a good time. People become far more excited about an idea if they are the first to know, so be sure to let your best cheerleaders in the office get in on the ground level and be a part of your plan. Let them pilot the program, or explain the idea in a fun way that shows what they’re missing out on by not being on board.

Movie B-School: Gain support for your cause with FootlooseLeaping and dancing

With exception to his family members and the few friends he makes, Ren gets nothing but crap from day one. He is bullied, laid blame upon for things he didn’t do, and seen as an evil-doer bringing his amoral ways to their good town. Through the adversity, he perseveres and treats the honorable Reverend Lithgow with respect.

When pushing forward with his prom idea, Ren takes the time to sit down with the Rev and talk, man-to-man. With the Reverend being both beaten down by his internal struggle of faith and recognizing what it took for Ren to come to his home and speak to him as an adult, Moore finally realizes that his refusal of participation is more about him than the idea itself. In fact, in the end he realizes that it’s a good idea, or at least “comes pretty close,” according to Andy the Sheriff.

Movie B-School: Gain support for your cause with Footloose

Let’s dance!

Treating naysayers as equals, when the natural inclination is to steer clear of them, can be difficult but necessary when trying to push an idea through. If they return the respect, they can be powerful allies as you steam ahead.


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About the Author
Stephanie Norell is the Marketing Director for North by Northwest’s Boise office. She loves horror movies and Pinterest, adores the classic film Xanadu, and “enjoys” disseminating her thoughts for trolls to discuss online.


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