The Oxford Dictionary defines twerking as a “dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance.” However, we prefer to call it booty dancing. Twerking actually has a long history dating back hundreds of years to West Africa. Nevertheless, it was pop sensation Miley Cyrus who brought it back into the limelight a few years ago.
The History of Twerking
Twerking was introduced to the United States in the 80s with the New Orleans bounce music scene. In the 90’s, twerking appeared in dozens of lyrics in popular hip-hop songs. However, it did not hit mainstream pop until 2000 when artists like Justin Timberlake and Beyoncé mentioned twerking in their Top 50 song lyrics. Then came the phase of Miley Cyrus, in which the aftermath of her move from Hannah Montana to Wild Child caused a twerking craze around the world.
There are many variations of twerking, as twerk artists often put their own spin on the dance form, which results in a whole new twerk trend to ripple throughout dance culture. The general twerking motion requires the act of wiggling the booty without moving the hips. This is a lot harder than it sounds, and so those who want to learn how to twerk have to practice for some time usually before perfecting the art (check out our how-to videos and how-to article to learn how to twerk yourself!). This movement tends to be especially difficult for those who have less booty to work with. However, it can be done! Though the move does tend to be more enchanting with a big behind to work with.
The most common variation of twerking involves a stance, which requires the legs to be spread apart and the dancer to squat in a half position with their booty sticking out. Once you’ve mastered the twerking basics, there are a whole slew of other twerking variations to try out. For example, some of the advanced twerking positions include a full bend with hands on the floor and a handstand position with legs on the wall. This is called the Wall Twerk or the Upside Down Twerk, and proves to be a challenging but rewarding twerking variation that you can eventually work up to.
If you still can’t picture what twerking looks like then simply head on over to our videos to watch the dance phenomenon yourself. We have all sorts of twerking videos from how-to-videos to videos showcasing twerk experts strutting their stuff to amateur attempts. Don’t be afraid to try twerking out for yourself! There’s no shame in twerking by yourself in the comfort of your own home as you get used to the complex dance move. Just make sure that you get the hang of it before showing it off at the club. Don’t worry if you do not get it right away, all those pro twerkers took months, maybe even years before they became twerk gods.