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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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10085 news items

Mid Columbia Tri City Herald
Wed, 26 Aug 2015 07:03:45 -0700

A “Fabulous 50s Sock Hop” is planned from 5 to 9 p.m. Sept. 12 at American Legion Auxiliary Post 115, 908 Dale Ave., Benton City. A DJ will play music from the 1950s. Burgers, hot dogs, fries and other treats will be served. Meals cost $8. A hula hoop ...

KEVN Black Hills Fox

KEVN Black Hills Fox
Thu, 20 Aug 2015 20:22:30 -0700

Deadwood is known for the many great events the town hosts throughout the year, but one of the largest, longest–standing events has rolled into downtown this weekend. The classic cars and classic hits have officially begun cruising into Deadwood for ...

New Baltimore Voice Newspapers

New Baltimore Voice Newspapers
Thu, 20 Aug 2015 09:52:30 -0700

The Sock Hop will take place from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Admission and parking are free, and those in attendance can enjoy entertainment by Mystical Sounds DJ Service. The evening will also include raffles, door prizes, dancing, a car cruise-in, tractor ...

Sun Sentinel

Sun Sentinel
Thu, 06 Aug 2015 11:50:37 -0700

They were there for the annual Daddy-Daughter Sock Hop at the Volunteer Park Community Center in Plantation. The event, for girls ages 6-12 and their dads, featured pizza, punch, games and more and was organized by Shannon Ryan and Wes Lockard of ...

KRNV My News 4

KRNV My News 4
Wed, 05 Aug 2015 07:43:04 -0700

RENO, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- A true 50's style event is happening Wednesday in honor of Hot August Nights. It's the official Hot August Nights "Sock Hop!" It starts at 5 p.m. inside the Mandalay Ballroom at Circus Circus. Tickets are just 5 bucks ...

My Citizens News

My Citizens News
Thu, 20 Aug 2015 03:07:30 -0700

Prospect's 30th annual Sock Hop and Car Show is Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m. on the Prospect Green on Center Street. “You can take a walk down memory lane,” Mayor Robert Chatfield said. “You'll see a lot of history.” Chatfield said the event typically draws ...
The Oakland Press
Wed, 05 Aug 2015 09:08:56 -0700

Dance your socks off at Royal Oak Dream Cruise sock hop Aug. 14. Poodle skirts will be welcome at the Waltonwood of Royal Oak's annual Woodward Dream Cruise Sock Hop on Friday, Aug. 14. Posted: 08/05/15, 11:58 AM EDT | Updated: 1 week, 5 days ...
Troy Messenger
Wed, 29 Jul 2015 01:03:45 -0700

“If you are a lover of the fabulous, danceable music of the 1960s and 1970s, you will not want to miss the Sock Hop at The Studio on Saturday night August 8,” said Vicki Pritchett, Johnson Center executive director. “We are so excited to have The ...

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