A sock hop or sox hop, often also called a record hop 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. The music at a sock hop was usually played from vinyl records, sometimes presented by a disc jockey. Occasionally there were also live bands.
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. In later years, "hops" became strongly associated with the 1950s and early rock and roll. Danny and the Juniors sang "At the Hop" in 1957, which named many popular dances and otherwise documented what happened at a hop.
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.
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.
A gym, short for gymnasium, is an open air or covered location for gymnastics and athletics and gymnastic services such as in schools and colleges, from the ancient Greek gymnasium.
Gymnasia apparatus such as bar-bells, parallel bars, jumping board, running path, tennis-balls, cricket field, fencing gallery, and so forth are used as exercises. In safe weather, outdoor locations are the most conductive to health. Gyms were popular in ancient Greece. Their curricula included Gymnastica militraria or self-defense, gymnastica medica, or physical therapy to help the sick and injured, and gymnastica athletica for physical fitness and sports, from boxing to dance.
The Greek term gymnasion (γυμνάσιον) was used in Ancient Greece to describe a locality for both physical and intellectual education of young men. The latter meaning of intellectual education persisted in Greek, German and other languages to denote a certain type of school providing secondary education, the gymnasium, whereas in English the meaning of physical education was pertained in the word 'gym'.
The Greek word gymnasium means "school for naked exercise" and was used to designate a locality for the education of young men, including physical education (gymnastics, i.e. exercise) which was customarily performed naked, as well as bathing, and studies. For the Greeks, physical education was considered as important as cognitive learning. Most Greek gymnasia had libraries that could be utilized after relaxing in the baths.
The gyms had halls and colonnades with statues and pictures. These gymnasia also had teachers of wisdom and philosophy. Community gymnastic events were done as part of the celebrations during various village festivals. In ancient Greece there was a phrase of contempt, "He can neither swim nor write." After a while, however, Olympic athletes began training in buildings just for them. Community sports never became as popular among ancient Romans as it had among the ancient Greeks. Gyms were used more as a preparation for military service or spectator sports. During the Roman Empire, the gymnastic art was forgotten. In the Dark Ages there were sword fighting tournaments and of chivalry; and after gunpowder was invented sword fighting began to be replaced by the sport of fencing. There were schools of dagger fighting and wrestling and boxing.