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invite-only promotions. The Sock Hop

Throughout the United States in the 1950s, the beginnings of rock and roll were working their way through the country thanks to widely popular and innovative artists like Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and Little Richard. While rock and roll was widely misunderstood--if not outright dismissed--among many adults during the time, it was also accepted to some degree, if often in a condescending “kids will be kids” way, which led to the emergence of informal rock and roll dances sponsored by high schools called "sock hops."

The sock hop was named as such because they usually took place in the high school’s own gymnasium, where the students were made to remove their shoes to avoid damaging the varnished wood floors. Consequently, students could be found dancing in cardigans and boys socks or skirts and girls tights.

Many popular dances grew out of the sock hops, including The Bop, popularized by Gene Vincent’s 1956 single "Be-Bop-A-Lula," and, not dissimilarly, The Twist, popularized by Chubby Checker’s 1960 hit single of the same name. During the slower rock and roll songs, dancers would often incorporate The Stroll, originating from Chuck Willis songs like “C. C. Rider” and “Betty and Dupree” before becoming the de facto dance of Link Wray’s popular and influential 1958 song “Rumble.”