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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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3705 news items

The Star Beacon
Sat, 23 May 2015 21:52:30 -0700

CONNEAUT — The 10th annual Sock Hop will cruise into Conneaut on June 6, bringing music, food and classic cars to the downtown district. This year's version features a swap meet, music on three stages and a car show along Main and Broad streets, ...
Petaluma Argus Courier
Thu, 21 May 2015 11:56:15 -0700

Guests step outside as the night comes to an end at the Salute to American Graffiti Sock Hop at Hermann Sons Hall on Thursday, May 14, 2015. (RACHEL SIMPSON/FOR THE ARGUS-COURIER). The car from the movie American Graffiti outside the Salute to ...

Topeka Capital Journal

Topeka Capital Journal
Sat, 09 May 2015 18:38:39 -0700

On Saturday night, the gymnasium of the former Monroe Elementary School filled with people of all ages for a 1950s-style sock hop. Women and girls, mainly wearing poodle skirts, and a handful of men and boys, some with slicked-back hair, learned the ...
Yadkin Ripple
Wed, 13 May 2015 22:34:52 -0700

“We also like to add a theme to each third Friday to keep it fun and exciting so we're kicking off with a sock hop and continuing with a blues theme on June 19, an '80s theme on July 17 and we're bringing back our very popular dog days of summer on ...
Topeka Capital Journal
Mon, 04 May 2015 08:50:20 -0700

A live band and dance instructors from the Kansas Ballet Academy will help participants learn to do the locomotion, the twist and other popular dances of the “sock hop” generation. Participants are encouraged to wear clothes representing the 50's era ...
Houghton Lake resorter
Wed, 29 Apr 2015 17:22:30 -0700

The Rotary Club of Roscommon will hold its 28th annual spring auction on May 2. The event will take place at the Roscommon Knights of Columbus Hall under the theme “Happy Days Sock Hop Party,” beginning at 6 p.m..
Williams Lake Tribune
Thu, 21 May 2015 14:33:45 -0700

Horsefly is hosting a Sock Hop Coffeehouse fundraiser Saturday, May 23 at the Horsefly Community Hall in support of the 10th anniversary of Arts on the Fly set for July 10 and 11 in Horsefly. The Sock Hop for all ages starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 at ...
Thu, 07 May 2015 08:38:04 -0700

Dig out your saddle shoes and poodle skirts and come to the Sock Hop on Friday, June 5 from 7-10 p.m. Enjoy dancing again t0 the music of the '50s and '60s. Light refreshments and a 50/50 draw. Tickets are $5/member and $8/non-member and available at ...

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