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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. The popularity of Sock Hops coined the phrase Bobby soxer; which described the fans of Traditional pop music.

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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St. Augustine Record

St. Augustine Record
Thu, 12 Nov 2015 20:41:15 -0800

Hardly anyone could sit down at St. Gerard Campus' “Remember When 50s Sock Hop” Oct. 17 at Bishop Baker Hall. DJ Alex Rodriguez of Elite Signature DJ Services spun all the favorite blasts from the past as supporters of the school twisted, danced the ...

Wicked Local Wareham

Wicked Local Wareham
Wed, 18 Nov 2015 14:30:00 -0800

WAREHAM – A “Jingle Bell Sock Hop,” featuring music and dancing from the 1950s, will be staged Saturday, Dec. 11, from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Redmen Hall located at 758 Main St. in West Wareham. According to a press release, music will be provided by ...
Bedford Bulletin
Wed, 18 Nov 2015 13:56:15 -0800

Senior Sock Hop. -A A +A. Bookmark and Share. Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at 4:56 pm (Updated: November 18, 5:12 pm). The Bedford Area YMCA held a “Senior Sock Hop,” an event that Linda Lacy hopes will be an annual event. The '50s and '60s ...

Chicago Daily Herald

Chicago Daily Herald
Mon, 09 Nov 2015 14:57:42 -0800

Around 245 seventh-grade students got a taste of an old-fashioned sock hop Monday at Fremont Middle School in Mundelein. The students have been reading "The Outsiders" and had the chance to relive moments from the novel. The event included a hula ...

Villages-News (registration)

Villages-News (registration)
Wed, 25 Nov 2015 13:51:03 -0800

The greaser guys and pink ladies from Pennsylvania loved the oldies but goodies during a combination club meeting and sock hop party. “We loved those good old days and this music because it brings back so many memories,” said Tina Dewees, president ...
New Jersey Herald
Thu, 12 Nov 2015 22:00:00 -0800

LAFAYETTE — A '50s sock hop to benefit Boy Scout Troop 98 of Montague will be held from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, at the Lafayette Fire House. A donation of $20 is requested. Music by a DJ and light refreshments are included. Attire from the ...
The Daily News of Newburyport
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 23:52:30 -0800

Then bebop on down to the Town Annex, 381 Main St., tomorrow for a Sock Hop to benefit the Mission of Hope in Haiti. Hosted by the West Newbury Congregational Church, the informal dance runs from 7 to 10 p.m. The goal is to raise funds for a team ...
Bellefontaine Examiner
Sat, 31 Oct 2015 06:52:30 -0700

Bellefontaine City School music teacher Darcy Neeld, left, dances with Bellefontaine Elementary School first-grader Natilee Canter, right, Friday during the elementary school's sock hop offered as a 50th day of school celebration and the conclusion of ...

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