Twerking has been part of black culture for many decades; variants of the dance exist in most places where there’s a high concentration of people of African descent.
We can trace the origins of twerking to the Ivory Coast in West Africa, where a similar style of dance, known as the Mapouka dance originated. The dance has existed for centuries and consists of a series of movements emphasising the buttocks.
A whine, which can also be associated with twerking, is a genuine regional dance form defined by a Caribbean dance expert as the thrusting or rotating of the pelvic girdle in a rhythmic pattern. It is the natural way in which some Caribbean people dance to calypso or soca music. In other parts of the Caribbean, such as Jamaica, twerking or whining is danced to Dancehall music. Although it is not viewed as a technical dance form such and ballet or contemporary dance, Twerking requires a dancer to have a lot of skill to perform it well.
In more modern times the word “twerk” was first coined, as far as it is known, in New Orleans in the 1990s with the emergence of the bounce music scene. The first recorded use of the word was by DJ Jubilee in his song “Do The Jubilee All.” The dance also gained recognition in the 2000s with the hit song “Whistle While You Twurk” by the Ying Yang Twins and in Beyoncé‘s song “Check On It.”
Since then, mainstream media have acknowledged twerking as a dance style; however, it has been viewed as being sexualised, scandalous and very controversial.
THE BIRTH OF TWERKFIT
Many people, mainly women, have taken to learning how to twerk. This new-found popularity, the skill level required and improvement in muscle tone that twerking promotes inspired the birth of TwerkFit.