Sock hops were held as early as 1944 by the American Junior Red Cross to raise funds during World War II. They then became a fad among American teenagers in 1948. Sock hops were commonly held at high schools and other educational institutions, often in the school gymnasium or cafeteria. The term came about because dancers were required to remove their hard-soled shoes to protect the varnished floor of the gymnasium.:200 The music at a sock hop was usually played from vinyl records, sometimes presented by a disc jockey.:200 Occasionally there were also live bands.
In later years, "hops" became strongly associated with the 1950s and early rock and roll.:200 "At the Hop", a song by Danny & the Juniors that debuted in 1957, names many popular and novelty dances and otherwise documented what occurred at a hop.:199–200 In subsequent decades, with the widespread popularity of sneakers and other types of indoors-only footwear, the practise of removing shoes was dropped. The term then came to be applied more generally to any informal dance for teenagers.
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. Owl City song "Fireflies" makes reference to the sock hop in the second verse.
- 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
- Bobby soxer
- McBride, Tom; Nief, Ron (2014). The Mindset List of the Obscure: 74 Famously Forgotten Icons from A to Z. ISBN 9781402293474.
- "Juniors to Hold Important Jobs in War Fund Drive". Evening Star. Washington, DC. 1944-02-27. p. 37.
- "Teen-Agers". Life. 1948-12-20. p. 67.
- Partridge, Eric (2006). The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English. Routledge. p. 1811. ISBN 9780415259385.
- Bogdanov, Vladimir; Woodstra, Chris; Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (2001). All Music Guide: The Definitive Guide to Popular Music. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 425. ISBN 0879306270.
|Look up sock hop in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- Poch, Angela (January 18, 2019). "Everything You Wanted to Know About Sock Hops and Having Fun 50s Style". HalloweenCostumes.com. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
- Toothman, Jessika. "How Sock Hops Worked". HowStuffWorks.com. Retrieved 23 June 2020.