An In-Depth History Of The Booty Gyrating Phenomenon Known As Twerking


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With the likes of Iggy Azalea and Miley Cyrus twerking their non-existent asses off any chance they get, one might be led to believe that the dance phenomenon known as twerking was created just months ago. While the heavy use of the word "twerking" may have come around relatively recently, the dance has been around for well over a decade. Maybe even two decades. Yes, believe it or not twerking was present way before French Montana raucously questioned, "what you twerkin' with?" on "Pop That."



I hate to break it to ya, but there's no full proof way of figuring out when exactly the dance originated, although some like to speculate that it started way, wayyy back. For instance, the video below, titled "The Complete History Of Twerking," states that the dance began as early as 25,000 B.C. Now that sounds like some serious BS, but what I did find interesting about the video is their analysis of animals twerking and how it relates to humans. You don't have to be a Discovery Channel connoisseur to know that most animals dance to attract a mate. And isn't that essentially what the chick twerking for her life in the club is doing?

 



 



Whether or not the earliest humans were getting their twerk on is debatable and even a little laughable, but we can attempt to decipher when modern twerking came about. I personally remember a fellow classmate in 7th grade attempting something similar to a twerk while a Kilo Ali song played at a school dance. And I do remember seeing packs of college students tooting their cheeks every which way when my parents innocently took my brother and I to an outdoor festival during Freaknik. So, with the popularity of bass music and strip clubs in the South in the early 90's, paired with Freaknik, I think we can safely assume that modern-day twerking originated in that particular region during the 90's.



As far as the actual term "twerking" is concerned, one of the first mentions of the word is in New Orleans' artist DJ Jubilee's "Do The Jubilee All." At the 0:28 mark in the video below, DJ Jubilee can be heard rapping, "twerk baby, twerk baby, twerk, twerk, twerk."

 

 

 



 


I like to consider myself a proud, card-carrying member of WCWCT (Women of Color Who Can't Twerk), so if you need advice on how to get that perfect cheek to twerk ratio then you should probably hit up your semi-ratchet homegirl or watch this video below, courtesy of "The Official Twerk Team."


 

 

 

 



 


Although I can't wait for the twerking craze to die out or head back to the strip club, I will miss the hilarious fails that have resulted thanks to the raunchy dance. Take these girls for instance, who are clearly Alumni of the Miley Cyrus School of Twerks.


 

 

 

 



 


Nathan Update: The "twerk" thing has gone completely mainstream, kind of like when your mom started saying "bling" and you knew it was dead. When even Lloyd's using it for mainstream pop/R&B records, the death of twerk can't be far behind.


 

 

This article originally appeared on RefinedHype.com, which has now merged with The DJBooth. For more info, click here.

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Written by Danielle H. on 06/26/13


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