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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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19435 news items

KTVQ Billings News
Sat, 21 Feb 2015 17:44:36 -0800

Volunteers decorated the Shrine Auditorium for its "Rockin' with the Angels 50's Sock Hop." Last year, Major Dan Miller served as the D-J. This year, Relay for Life brought in live entertainment. The event will raise money for the American Cancer ...
Gridley Herald
Wed, 25 Feb 2015 07:39:20 -0800

On February 19 the Gridley Elementary Schools PTA put on a FREE Family Sock Hop! Families from both McKinley and Wilson schools were encouraged to dress up in their finest 1950's attire and come out for a fun night of dancing. The Ambruzzini Family ...
The Hillishome
Wed, 25 Feb 2015 16:00:00 -0800

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 2.19.09 PM School auctions are as much a philanthropic endeavor as they are a reflection of their community. This weekend, get ready to don your coolest leather jacket and/or tie a pink ribbon on that high ponytail, Capitol ...
Greenfield Daily Reporter
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 19:11:15 -0800

The event will take place at 7 p.m. in the church's family life center, located at 3179 N. County Road 600W, Greenfield. Be prepared to enjoy some 1950s music spun by DJ Rob Hart. Nickel hot dogs, 10-cent Cokes and Nehi orange drinks will be available ...
Wicked Local Braintree
Thu, 05 Feb 2015 05:23:04 -0800

11, with a Sock-Hop themed rally at the Braintree Elks Lodge, 205 Elm St. Registration for Relay teams and participants begins at 6:45 p.m. followed by the program from 7 to 8 p.m.. “Anyone can come and find out all about Relay for Life and sign up ...

Detroit Free Press

Detroit Free Press
Wed, 04 Mar 2015 20:52:30 -0800

This year, the show plans to introduce a new event: a sock hop and dance competition. Participants will be able to jive, jitterbug and swing to tunes from the 50s and 60s — and if they don't know how, lessons will be offered. By the end of the night ...

C&G Newspapers

C&G Newspapers
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 14:47:41 -0800

Other highlights will include the return of Gene Winfield's Chop Shop, the National High School Design Competition, the Significant Corvettes of the Past collection and, at 7:30 p.m. March 6, the first Autorama sock hop and dance competition. Autorama ...

NOLA.com (blog)

NOLA.com (blog)
Wed, 25 Feb 2015 06:33:56 -0800

Kids participate in the Festival of Trees Holiday Sock Hop at the Louisiana Children's Museum on Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014. The event serves as the museum's kickoff event for the Festival of Trees event, with kids wearing their favorite holiday socks ...

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