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Sock hop at Shimer College in 1948.

A sock hop or sox hop, often also called a record hop[1] or just a hop, was an informal sponsored dance event for teenagers in mid-20th-century North America, featuring popular music. It was commonly held at high schools and other educational institutions, often in the school gym or cafeteria. The term came about because dancers were required to remove their hard-soled shoes to protect the varnished floor of the gymnasium.[2] The music at a sock hop was usually played from vinyl records, sometimes presented by a disc jockey.[2] Occasionally there were also live bands.

Sock hops were held as early as 1944 by the American Junior Red Cross to raise funds during World War II.[3] They then became a fad among American teenagers in 1948.[4] In later years, "hops" became strongly associated with the 1950s and early rock and roll.[2] Danny and the Juniors sang "At the Hop" in 1957, which named many popular dances and otherwise documented what happened at a hop.[5]

In subsequent decades, with the widespread popularity of sneakers and other types of indoors-only shoes, the practice of removing shoes was dropped. The term then came to be applied more generally to any informal dance for teenagers.[6]

The term caught on in England in the late 1980s during a British rockabilly revival, led by groups like The Stray Cats. Life Begins at the Hop, a song celebrating sock hops, became the first charting single for XTC.[7]

See also[edit]

Students removing their shoes for a sock hop.
  • Sokkie - a similar idea in South Africa
  • School dance - modern incarnation of sock hops, shoes typically being mandatory for safety purposes (to avoid slipping and falling, shoe theft, etc.)
  • Prom - formal school dance in North American high schools, usually held for seniors (and sometimes juniors in a 'junior prom') at the end of the school year
  • Social dance

Works cited[edit]


  1. ^ McBride 2014, p. 199.
  2. ^ a b c McBride 2014, pp. 200.
  3. ^ "Juniors to Hold Important Jobs in War Fund Drive". Evening Star (Washington, DC). 1944-02-27. p. 37. 
  4. ^ "Teen-Agers". Life. 1948-12-20. p. 67. 
  5. ^ McBride 2014, pp. 199-200.
  6. ^ Partridge, Eric (2006). The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English. Routledge. p. 1811. ISBN 9780415259385. 
  7. ^ Bogdanov, Vladimir; Woodstra, Chris; Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (2001). All Music Guide: The Definitive Guide to Popular Music. p. 425. ISBN 0879306270. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sock_hop — Please support Wikipedia.
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Fri, 30 Jan 2015 13:22:30 -0800

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa – The party at the Winter Dance Party started bright and early Friday morning in Clear Lake. Hundreds of kids learned the ins and outs of 1950s dance moves during a sock hop at the Surf Ballroom. It's an event that has been a staple of ...

Grand Island Independent

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Fri, 30 Jan 2015 21:15:00 -0800

First-graders Laura Blake, center, and Myah Jensen dance together along with second-grader Yadira Ojeda-Gonzalez, far left, during a sock hop Friday afternoon at Trinity Lutheran School in Grand Island. The dance marked the end of Lutheran Schools ...

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Wed, 28 Jan 2015 18:54:26 -0800

Sue Pleggenkuhle, right, of Clear Lake, dances with her daughter, Erin Miles, left, and identical triplet granddaughters Brynley, Ryan and Hadley at the Sock Hop at the Surf Ballroom Wednesday night. The Sock Hop kicks off Winter Dance Party activities ...

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Wed, 28 Jan 2015 15:08:15 -0800

Friday: Winter Dance Party Sock Hop (separate from the family event) featuring music by Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys, L.A. Party Dolls and Cadillac Casanovas. * Saturday: Frankie Avalon, The Crystals, Brian Hyland, Chris Montez and John Mueller's ...

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Wed, 28 Jan 2015 18:37:30 -0800

CLEAR LAKE | Identical triplets Hadley, Ryan and Brynley Miles twirled, spun and bounced energetically in their poodle skirts at the Winter Dance Family Sock Hop on Wednesday. Grandparents Kim and Sue Pleggenkuhle and the girls' mother, Erin Miles, ...
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Mon, 12 Jan 2015 08:16:38 -0800

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Fri, 23 Jan 2015 03:37:30 -0800

The Pss Area Performing Artists upcoming Sock Hop dance is fulfilling all its promises to create an “authentic” experience for its guests. In addition to White Castle hamburgers and other 50s food, an American Bandstand stage, car hops, “Doo Wop” music ...

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