Ren McCormack a teenager raised in boston, moves to Bomont to live with his uncle, aunt, and cousins after his mother's painful death from leucemia. Soon after arriving, Ren makes friends with Willard Hewitt , a fellow senior at Bomont High School, and learns from him about the ban on dancing and music. He soon begins to become attracted to Moore's rebellious daughter Ariel, who is dating dirt-track driver Chuck Cranston, whose father owns the local race-track. After an insult from Chuck, Ren ends up in a game involving buses, and despite his inability to drive a bus, he wins. Reverend Moore mistrusts Ren, forbidding Ariel to see him ever again, even blaming Ariel's rebellious attitude on him. Ren and his classmates want to do away with the law and have a senior prom. Ren goes before the city council and reads several bible verses, given to him by Ariel, that describe how in ancient times people would dance to rejoice, exercise, celebrate, and worship, hoping to lift the dancing ban. Meanwhile, Ren also teaches Willard how to dance. The city council votes against him. Undaunted, Ren convinces the owner of the cotton mill where he works to let them have a prom there; the mill is just outside the Bomont city limits. Ren goes to see Moore, knowing that Moore still has enough influence to pressure the parents not to let their teenagers come. Ren tells Moore that even though they denied the motion to dismiss the law, they cannot stop the teenagers from having the first senior prom, which has always been denied. He then asks him respectfully if he can take Ariel. Moore, after some thought, allows Ariel to go and makes amends with his wife and daughter, better understanding things.
Ren and Willard fend them off along with Rusty and Ariel's help. Ren then flings some confetti into a shredding machine and yells, "Let's dance!" The movie ends with everyone dancing in the barn to the song from the opening credits, FOOTLOOSE