As you prepare to attend summer sock hops, do not forget the small details. Dressing the part in wearing clothes appropriate to the time period is just as important as doing dances that are time period appropriate. Figuring out dance moves from the fifties can be a little more tricky than finding the right clothes to wear.
Because sock hops were in their prime in the 1950’s, most dances associated with sock hops are fifties dances. Popular dances included the hand jive, the jitterbug, the cha cha, and the bop. Any of these dances would be wonderful to learn, but when attending a fifties hop, knowing a basic slow dance and fast dance will suffice.
For the fast dance, men, you step in place with your left foot, keeping your heel up, and then you step again, but this time keeping your heel down. You will do the same with your right foot, after which you will take a step back with your left foot. Then, you simply return to starting position.
For the ladies, it’s the same steps as the men performed, but they begin with and step back on their right foot. A simple way to remember this dance is right toe touch, right step, left toe touch, left step and right foot back. The men can use this to memorize their steps, too, but must remember to do the opposite of the ladies!
Now, for your hands: gentlemen, you will place your right hand on her waist while holding her right hand with your left. Elbows should be bent so that your hands stay at about shoulder level. Ladies, you will place your left hand on your partner’s shoulder and your right hand in his.
The slow dance is simple, too: men will begin by stepping their left foot forward, then sliding their right foot up in line with their left. They will then move their right foot to the right, sliding their left over to meet their right. They will step back with their right foot, after which, they will bring their left foot back, making it even with their right.
Finally, they will bring their left foot to the left, and their right foot will follow after, bringing them back to starting position. Ladies’ follow the same steps, except they will mirror the men. As the men step forward with their left foot, the women will need to step back with their right.
As become better at these two dances, feel free to improvise a little and to add your own style to them! These dance steps are easy to learn and will make the sock hop a bit more real for you. Remember to pay close attention to detail, however, and to look the part as well as dance the part!
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