How to do the sock hop dance

Everything You Wanted to Know About Sock Hops and Having Fun 50s Style

You have probably heard of a sock hop, but if you’re looking to attend one or perhaps host your own sock hop party, you’re going to need to know a few things. We love parties with a focus on dressing up, so keep reading for tips on what to wear to a sock hop, what kind of music to play and party games for a sock hop. It’s good to be well-informed so you can rock around the clock like a pro!

What Was a Sock Hop?

Before we get into the nitty-gritty about what to do when you attend a sock hop or how to host one, you’re going to want to know a thing or two about the history of the sock hop. Sock hops originated as informal school dances during the mid-1900s. (Think prom but a lot less formal!) The dances may have actually started as early as the 1940s, but they’re still heavily associated with the 1950s. The term “sock hop” came about because participants were encouraged to remove their shoes and dance in their socks so that their shoes didn’t harm the gym floor. Sock hops have also been known as a sox hop, record hop or just a hop. (If you get invitations for any of these, it’s still a sock hop!)

What is a Sock Hop Party?

A sock hop party is a themed dance party with a focus on the 1950s that is loosely based on the original sock hops of yesteryear. There are often other activities and games to do so that it’s more than just a dance. Popular picks include hula hooping competitions, the limbo, hopscotch, jumping rope, costume contests and pin the tail on the poodle. You can also make up other games and activities with a vintage vibe, or you can find a way to include roller-skating. (Major props to you if you host your sock hop party at a roller rink!) Many sock hops are still hosted as school or church events, but individuals that like themed birthday parties can also have a sock hop party for family and friends.

What do You Wear to a Sock Hop?

Due to the fact that sock hops are 50s themed parties, attendees are typically expected to wear 50s costumes. If you’re wondering how you should dress for a sock hop, girls usually wear poodle skirts and blouses with chiffon neck scarves, bobby socks, saddle shoes and cat eye glasses, but Grease costumes and 50s prom outfits can be worn as well! Girls are easy to outfit, but you might be asking yourself, “what do guys wear to a sock hop”? Sock hop outfits for guys often include Grease costumes, but not everyone wants the white t-shirt and leather jacket bad boy look. You can also don a bowling shirt with some slacks and saddle shoes or loafers for a preppier ensemble.

How Should I Style my Sock Hop Hair and Makeup?

There are quite a few 50s hairstyles for women that would work for a variety of hair lengths, but one of the simplest and most effective is the ponytail. The ponytail was actually a very prominent hairstyle for youths in the 50s, and if you expect to be dancing the night away, it’s a great way to keep your hair in check. (Try doing that with a bouffant or a poodle cut!) There are also several 1950s hairstyles for men, the most prominent of which is probably the greaser pompadour. Other styles typically involved greasing the hair down with hair gel and combing it over to one side or to the back. As far as 1950s makeup is concerned, it concentrated on making the face fairly matte with minimal color. The one big pop of color was usually on the lips as red lipstick was very popular, but some other favorite lip colors were a little more conservative such as pink and coral. You may want to check out this video by Zabrena about how to do your own historically accurate 50s makeup.

What Kind of Sock Hop Music Should I Play?

You’re definitely going to want to use 1950s music in your playlist—kind of a no-brainer by now—but there were several prevalent music styles in the 50s and not all of them were appropriate sock hop material. You’re probably going to want to pick rock and roll jukebox favorites like Jailhouse Rock or Rock Around the Clock. Thankfully, there are plenty of 50s music collections in places like YouTube and Spotify so that you don’t have to hand-pick your sock hop tunes. (It makes you wonder how we managed to have sock hops in the decades before the internet!)

What are Some Good Sock Hop Dances?

If you really enjoy dancing and you want to take some sweet moves along with you or teach your guests how to boogie like the best of them, there are a few 50s dances that you should check out. (You certainly don’t want to look like those people that dance by hopping up and down!) Many of the dance moves were related to swing dancing, but they evolved to dance to rock and roll music. Common 50s dance styles included the boogie-woogie, bop, bunny hop and the chalypso (a mixture of cha-cha-cha and calypso). After a few of these dances, you’re sure to be burning some real calories! (Keep that Fitbit handy.)

What are Some Good Sock Hop Decorations?

Now that you’re almost ready to party, you’re going to want to make your venue have that 50s vibe. (If you can get your hands on a real jukebox, you’re a step ahead of the rest of us!) Jukebox decorations are still a good idea whether or not you have a real one. Otherwise, decorations featuring black vinyl records, 50s diner decor, roller skates, poodles and milkshakes will certainly bring out the appropriate atmosphere. Color schemes for sock hop parties usually include pink and blue or turquoise with white and black accents. (White and black checkered anything is also a good idea if you can rock it!)

50s Costume Ideas to Wear to a Sock Hop

If you're looking to get outfitted for a sock hop, these 50s costumes are a great place to start. There are several poodle skirt costumes, 50s prom dresses and Grease costumes for girls to wear. Many of them include accessories, but you can always add a pair of cat-eye glasses, saddle shoes or bobby socks to your ensemble for more of a complete look. Most 50s costumes for guys are all about the shirt, jacket or sweater vest, which you can wear along with a pair of blue jeans or dress pants. (Make sure to roll those pants cuffs!)

50s Party Decoration Ideas

[Source: Catchmyparty. com]

As we mentioned earlier, the predominant colors for sock hop parties are bubblegum pink, baby blue or teal, and white-and-black accents. Some simple ways to decorate your tables can include pink and blue tablecloths with black-and-white checkered table runners, colored plates, vinyl record placemats and milkshake table decorations. You might want to get placemats that simply look like records so you don't accidentally ruin any real records. (That record-throwing scene in Shawn of the Dead immediately comes to mind. Don't use your copy of Purple Rain!) If you have the space for some larger props or a wall you're looking to decorate, you can buy or make cardboard jukebox decorations, classic cars and soda shop menu boards.

We hope you’re looking forward to your next sock hop! Have you ever attended a sock hop? What is your favorite part of a sock hop? Feel free to share your experiences with us in the comments below! It’s cool to see how we’re still remembering history with themed parties. (It also saves plenty of time and money trying to build that time machine!)

Doing A Sock Hop? Remember these fun things... — Sound In Motion Events

By Adrian Cavlan

The other day I had the joy of being asked to DJ a 1950’s-themed party. I say “joy” because the oldies from the birth of rock n’ roll up through doo wop and surf, etc. are some of my favorites, and it’s not too often that you get asked to play a whole night of that stuff these days.

A few things to think about when doing these parties:

  1. The songs are short! Many of them aren’t even 2.5 minutes long, so you have to know the music well and know where you want to go or you could get “DJ stuck” landing yourself into silence between the tracks (because you can’t think fast enough of what to play next), or, just as badly, playing songs back to back that have no direction or momentum and blowing up the dance floor almost immediately. The remedy? Do your homework and know the songs. Prep a few little short sets that you know will work on the dance floor that can buy you some breathing room. Need one? OK: Twist & Shout into Tequila into La Bamba. 

  2. You almost always want to play the song to its conclusion. These songs are short, folks, and people know them and want to hear all of them when you play them. This is particularly true of any song with a cold ending or a cold fade. That isn’t to say never do it, but suffice to say you should save 95% of your quick mixing skills for the hip hop set.

  3. There were great participation dances that came out in the ‘50s. Two that immediately come to mind are The Stroll by The Diamonds and the Limbo Rock by Chubby Checker. These are great fun and you will be really bringing an authentic vibe to the party if you do at least one of these. Keep in mind a couple of things:

    1. You will need a stick and a couple of volunteers to hold it if you do the limbo. A simple broomstick or dowel will do.

    2. What is the average age of your guests?! Back in the late 80s and early 90s we were DJing all of these peoples’ 20 year high school reunions, and they all wanted to do these, but now these folks are in their 70s and 80s! Doubt they have any interest in the limbo w/ a side order of paramedic ride to the E.R. ; )

  4. Related to the above: keep in mind the average age of your guests. If they are older, they are used to eating earlier and closing up shop by around 9 or 9:30 or so, no matter how much fun they are having. Not saying there aren’t exceptions, but I would say front-load the fun: give them most of the good stuff right out of the gate. They may only dance for 45 minutes or an hour, but they will be thrilled and say it was the best party ever as they are leaving. Way better than still having 70% of your best stuff in the bag because you were “saving it for later.”

Have fun out there!

Adrian Cavlan


Learning to dance hip-hop.

Lessons and Tips

Mufasa is a Red Bull Beat It 2012 Finalist

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Hip-hop is rightfully called one of the most individual dance styles. This dance lives according to its own laws, it has its own rules and teaching methods. Only in hip-hop is the dancer's acting data of paramount importance over the clarity and filigree of the learned movements.

If you look at the essence of dance, hip-hop is not even a theatrical performance or reflection of a melody in a dance, hip-hop is an original way to draw the attention of the audience to oneself. Moreover, the expected reaction must certainly be positive, and the dancer must cause frank sympathy and a smile on the faces of the audience.

Mufasa's energy has conquered everyone!

© Red Bull Content Pool

In principle, everyone can learn how to dance hip-hop, even those whose talents have not previously been noticed in the performance of any dance. The first step to learning how to dance hip-hop is to learn a few key rules:

1. The very first and most important rule is to devote as much time as possible to dancing. Even if you have a huge talent for dancing and good inclinations for this, but attending classes in the studio twice a week and not studying at home, you will not dance at the proper level. Watch videos on the net, practice in front of a mirror, learning the basic movements, maybe you can even come up with a new movement. And don't stop there. Even professional dancers continue to work on their dance without stopping to improve themselves.

2. If you really want to learn how to dance hip-hop, develop an ear for music. It is very important to learn to catch the bass. It is important to merge with the music in the dance. Only then can you achieve something worthwhile.

3. Dance technique is important. You can consider yourself a born dancer - your right. But you simply must know the simplest ligaments. Yes, improvisation is really cool, but it will not be of any use if you do not know the basic movements.

4. Try to express your own "I" through the dance. Dance is an excellent way to tell people about yourself, about what you live and breathe, your dreams and desires.

Hip-hop choreography by Mufasa

© Red Bull Content Pool

5. Break the rules. If you want to learn how to dance hip-hop, you first need to master the dance technique, learn its essence, and then you can discover your own and unique style. Don't think about learning how to dance hip-hop, just dance it.

6. If you find it difficult to move, lose weight, think about how to start losing weight. Go in for sports to get rid of excess, and start dancing with redoubled energy!

7. There are two basic movements in hip-hop – swing and step. It is from them that you need to start mastering this dance. Put your right foot to the right, toe out, pull up with your right hand. Bend your right leg and then transfer your body weight to it, lower your raised arm to shoulder level. Your feet should be pressed to the floor. Turn the body to the left side, bend the left leg, at this time the right leg must be put on the toe. Then lower your right knee and arch your back. At the same time, try to reach the floor with outstretched arms. If you manage to complete this movement, you are already dancing hip-hop.

8. Another important move. Performed standing. Your feet should be firmly planted on the floor and your knees slightly bent. Press the spread fingers of your right hand into your chest, raise your elbow so that it is parallel to the floor. Throw your pelvis forward, arch your back. Make two turns in different directions, while straightening your back and again returning it to its original arched position. Let your hands at this time leave the heart area and begin to slide from the chest to the waist. Throw the pelvis forward again, while straining the buttocks. Don't forget the round back.

9. Stand on your left leg, bend your right leg and then lift it so that your thigh is parallel to the floor. Bend your elbows, raise them above your chest, as the student does at the desk. Spin down with a corkscrew, throw forward and straighten your right leg. At the same time, do not forget to keep your back rounded. Straighten up, lean back as far as possible, throw your hands forward, imitating the movements of the semaphore. Don't forget about balance.

10. Spread your legs slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Move your right leg back a little. Bend your knees. Literally just a little bit. But you don’t need to spread them apart - this is a mistake. Your knees should only look forward. Cover your face with your right hand, put your left hand on the area of ​​\u200b\u200bthe heart, fingers should be folded into a fist. Tilt your head slightly towards your right shoulder. At this time, you need to unbend your left arm, while leaving it at chest level. Next, you need to simultaneously turn your right knee and your right hand to the right. If you manage to complete this movement, you can consider yourself a hip-hop professional.

The main thing for a good dancer is practice!

© Red Bull Content Pool

How to choose dance shoes?

Part 1: ballroom, hip-hop, flamenco, folk dances, tap

Tangeros dance on their toes and slide smoothly on the dance floor, breakdancers jump and spin on the floor, hustle performers (girls) move their heels so that if you follow them , your head will start spinning. Each dance genre has its own shoes. And choosing it is very simple: you just need it to be comfortable, beautiful and eternal. Nonsense.

We've put together the smartest tips for choosing shoes for different dance styles to make your task just a little bit easier.

Classification of dance shoes

Dance shoes, regardless of direction, are divided into men's and women's, training and demonstration, children's and adults. But the basic classification is considered to be a breakdown by style:

  1. Sports (ballroom) dances.
  2. Hip Hop
  3. Flamenco
  4. Folk dances
  5. Step
  6. Country Dance
  7. Jazz
  8. Belly dance
  9. Modern
  10. Lindi Hop

Here we will talk about the first five directions. The remaining five are in the next post.

Sports dance shoes

Ballroom dancing, which today is increasingly called sports, is performed on a sliding parquet. They share the European (standard) and Latin American dance programs. Each of them has its own shoes, which, however, have a lot in common.

Women's dance shoes
  1. Preferred last materials are satin, brocade, patent leather and plain leather.
  2. The sole of the shoe should be leather or suede - for safe and airy rotations and slides.
  3. Sandals for ballroom dancing must have a heel - so that the foot does not slip out during movement.
  4. Make sure your shoes have a strap. So the shoes will stay on the foot more firmly.
  5. Dance shoe straps often stretch. Take shoes with straps that have a supply of holes or space for them - you will have to change the level of fastening.
  6. Unfortunately, not only the straps stretch, but also the shoes themselves. Professional dancers take shoes a size smaller, but they can afford it due to experience and habit. If you are just starting to dance, choose satin shoes - they stretch a little less than leather.
  7. The lighter the shoes, the cooler.
  8. In the European program, the height of the heel varies from 4 to 7 centimeters, depending on height and personal preferences.
  9. For the Latin American program, a heel of 5 to 9 centimeters is used. Most often, these are sandals with a closed heel and several straps.
  10. The arch support plate, which is glued under the insole, only reaches the middle of the foot, so that the leg remains as flexible as possible.
Men's dance shoes
  1. Preferred materials are plain or patent leather.
  2. Arch support reaches the ball of the foot (slightly longer than for women).
  3. For the European program, a very low heel is used - 2 centimeters.
  4. For Latin American - up to 5 centimeters. The arch support, on the contrary, becomes shorter and reaches the middle of the foot.

Classic hip-hop shoes - sneakers. Hip-hop dances are performed anywhere (traditionally - on the street), so shoes should be comfortable for any surfaces.

There is no division between men's and women's shoes, because everyone is equal.

  1. Shoes should be as light as possible. Often hip-hop is performed in basketball shoes, which are traditionally made weightless - athletes can jump as high as they like in them.
  2. The sole should be flat and bend well - this is worth checking in the store.
  3. Shoes must glide well so that spins are easy.
  4. Take shoes exactly in size: the foot should not dangle in the sneaker, and thick socks for fixation will not work.
  5. Sneakers must be made from natural fabrics or have ventilation. Otherwise, your feet will be very hot, and you will not be up to dancing.

Flamenco is a Spanish folk dance in which the shoes are a percussion instrument. And in every sense: it should be not only comfortable and beautiful, but also sonorous - to tap your heels in such music. Traditionally, flamenco is performed alone or in groups, but there are also paired varieties.

For men, low-heeled leather shoes with flexible soles are suitable. And the woman who is in the spotlight will have to think about the choice:

  1. For the first lessons, stable boats are suitable. Ideally, they have a strap for additional fixation. If not, you can use an elastic band.
  2. The heel must be made of wood (Spanish yew) or leather (no plastic). The recommended height is from 4 to 7 centimeters.
  3. The sole is made of two layers of leather, the outsole is made of three. It must protect the foot from damage during impacts and, at the same time, have sufficient flexibility for maneuvers.
  4. The upper part of the shoe is made of leather - regular or patent leather.
  5. The toe must be rounded. It is made of double leather or leather with a sealing insert. This is necessary so that the dancer can confidently stand on it.
  6. Avoid rigid inserts - the foot should bend perfectly.
  7. Traditionally, studs are used in heels and soles to make the sound of tap dancing louder and richer. The studs should fit perfectly into the sole - so as not to interfere with sliding and not to sink into the skin.
Russian folk dances

Russian folk dances are artistic and provide a wide choice of shoes - from shoes to boots (five varieties in total: boots, shoes, square dances, ichigi boots, Romanian). Most often, these dances are performed collectively - both by women and men.

All five types of shoes have common characteristics that should be considered when tailoring and choosing shoes / boots.

Women's shoes for Russian folk dances
  1. Footwear for Russian folk dances should be bright and embroidered.
  2. Traditional material - thin leather with overlay patterns or embroidery.
  3. Heel - low (4 cm), stable, thick.
  4. Sole and heel materials are also leather, sewn in several layers.
  5. If you choose shoes for folk dances, then don't forget about the fixing strap.
Men's folk dance shoes
  1. Men dance in boots that almost cover the calf. There are models with a high knee pad made of leather.
  2. Boots should have toe and heel inserts so that the foot can bend easily.
  3. Heel - 2 centimeters. Made from stacked leather.
  4. Pad material - leather. Color: black, red, white. Embroidered options available.
  5. Sole leather, solid. The instep is slightly shorter than the foot.
Tap and Irish dances

There are two types of Irish dances, depending on which shoes are selected - this is a "soft" dance and step. For soft dances, there are women's and men's shoes, which differ in many characteristics. For step (jigs) shoes are universal and differ only in size.

Irish soft dance shoes
  1. Women's and men's soft dance shoes - leather ballerinas with tight lacing from the toe and microscopic heels.
  2. Material - matte or patent black leather.
  3. Plastic heels are made on the soles for sound. Women have heels on the toe and on the heel. In men - only on the heel. In the female version, a model with a solid sole can also be used.
  4. If you choose shoes made of thin leather, then you need to take one size smaller. If from dense - size to size. The skin has a tendency to stretch.
Tap shoes
  1. Tap shoes are made entirely of leather. Plastic heels are made on the toe of the sole and on the heel.
  2. Boots cover the entire foot. Fastened with tight lacing.
  3. The classic color of the boots is matte black. Models with a white toe and a white strap on the top are allowed.

Have you noticed that despite the huge difference between the dances, the recommendations for choosing shoes are very similar? Indeed, the most important thing when choosing is: