What Is Twerking?

Earnest-Pettie by Earnest-Pettie on Apr. 12, 2013

Between the recent video of Miley Cyrus twerking, that teacher in Colorado getting fired over tweeting racy pics of herself, including some of her twerking, and our recent compilation of twerking fails, you may be asking yourself… WTF is twerking?

Miley twerkin' up a storm.

 

Simplest definition? It’s an acrobatic and aggressive booty shaking dance that has its roots in Southern strip clubs, where the better you shake, the more money you make. It's name comes from combining the words "to" and "work." So that’s what it is, but why is everyone doing it all of a sudden? Well, it's not really all of a sudden. It's been on its way to becoming a thing for the better part of 15 years.
 
Sexy dancing is nothing new. Your parents did it back in the day. Yep, and they probably did it as a prelude to having sex. Twerking, on the other hand, is a relatively recent addition to the catalog of dirty dances. One of the first times I can remember seeing anything resembling twerking is in 1999’s Juvenile video, Back That Thang Up. The video features a lot of women shaking it hard. The idea is there, but the moves in that video are not as athletic as some of the moves we see in today’s twerking. I think you can refer to the dancing there as proto-twerk booty shaking.

A dancer from the Back That Thang Up video, stuck forever, unable to back it up.

In 2000, the Yin Yang Twins released a song that gave America the name for this kind of dancing. The song was Whistle While You Twurk. Ironically, the vixen-heavy video features very little of what we would come to know as twerking. The word is even spelled differently! The Yin Yang Twins would return a couple year’s later on Li’l Jon’s Get Low (2003) where they mention the dance again. “She getting crunk in the club. I mean she work it/And I like to see the female twurking.”

So the word and the dance definitely come from Southern strip club culture, but those songs came out before Break.com and Youtube even existed. Why is it a thing now? The easiest answer to that question is Youtube.

2009 saw the emergence of Twerk Team on Youtube. They uploaded videos of themselves dancing to popular songs. Strike that, twerking to popular songs, which is something they'd been doing since 2005 at parties across Atlanta. By 2011, they were popular enough to be name dropped in hip hop songs, and they even released music of their own. Here's the Twerk Team's first video.

Now here's there most recent video. All that really seems to have changed is their level of notoriety.

It appears that interest in Twerking can be almost directly attributed to the Twerk Team. Here's what Google shows as the trend in interest in the word Twerk:

Now compare that to "Twerk Team."

 

 

 

The rise in interest in Twerking seems to veer closely to the rise in interest in the Twerk Team, so it appears we have the girls of the Twerk Team to thank for interest in the dance, and as we've seen with any dance craze, be it the Harlem Shake or Gangnam Style, dances spread quickly through Youtube by imitation and repetition. Thanks to Youtube it doesn't take long for a dance to go from The Twerk Team to a twerk team to Hollywood starlets to bored girls in the middle of the country. And once you get there, you don't have to go much further to get to... When Twerking Goes Wrong. 

 

-Earnest

Follow me on Twitter @earnestp. Do I twerk on Twitter? Follow and find out.

42 comments
Shimon-Cobb-786
Shimon-Cobb-786 User

you can quench all your twerking needs at www.twerkdaily.com 


Jennifer-Jackson-113
Jennifer-Jackson-113

Really dude like you don't have anything else better to do with your time and energy. Like lets say reading or running or even riding a bike LMAO!!!

WZRDZ
WZRDZ User

i thought twerking was some kind of retarded tweeting...

WZRDZ
WZRDZ

i thought twerking was some kind of retarded tweeting...

Gregstreetz
Gregstreetz User

Break you are going down hill with these stupid ass stories....

Gregstreetz
Gregstreetz

Break you are going down hill with these stupid ass stories....

OCNEONJ
OCNEONJ User

SPAM & SCAM - Melissa or whatever your real name is kill yourself ASAP

OCNEONJ
OCNEONJ

SPAM & SCAM - Melissa or whatever your real name is kill yourself ASAP

rayortz
rayortz User

is break try to create a false trend? this is barely harlem shake level and that was bad.

rayortz
rayortz

is break try to create a false trend? this is barely harlem shake level and that was bad.

Jon-321
Jon-321

This made my dick turn into a vag

warrioricp
warrioricp

don't forget fandangoing is in now since wrestlemania 29! will we be seeing some of these in a post or even a blog bros.

warrioricp
warrioricp

don't forget fandangoing is in now since wrestlemania 29! will we be seeing some of these in a post or even a blog bros.

Tieris
Tieris User

If they want to impress me, they should attempt to do that while on my d**k.

Tieris
Tieris

If they want to impress me, they should attempt to do that while on my d**k.

Kotton-Gaming-120
Kotton-Gaming-120

With all that twerking i bet they take HUGE Muscular dumps too...

Kotton-Gaming-120
Kotton-Gaming-120

With all that twerking i bet they take HUGE Muscular dumps too...

Kotton-Gaming-120
Kotton-Gaming-120

Maybe if they would twerk something useful? not their nasty asses

Kotton-Gaming-120
Kotton-Gaming-120

Maybe if they would twerk something useful? not their nasty asses

Peter-Swansich-181
Peter-Swansich-181 User

The black community's second contribution, right after fried chicken

Peter-Swansich-181
Peter-Swansich-181

The black community's second contribution, right after fried chicken

ajgmazzieri
ajgmazzieri UserTop Commenter

Earnest. You're the only editor I like because you'll pull up ancient vids requested in comments, and you get in the mix with the break audience. That being said, this is pretty bad. Also I know you don't like that Mark food gauntlet homo. You don't have to admit it.

ajgmazzieri
ajgmazzieri

Earnest. You're the only editor I like because you'll pull up ancient vids requested in comments, and you get in the mix with the break audience. That being said, this is pretty bad. Also I know you don't like that Mark food gauntlet homo. You don't have to admit it.

Earnest-Pettie
Earnest-Pettie moderator User

I almost died laughing at Fandango's entrance at WM29. Who seriously thought Fandango was a good idea?

Earnest-Pettie
Earnest-Pettie

I almost died laughing at Fandango's entrance at WM29. Who seriously thought Fandango was a good idea?

Michael-Moore-702
Michael-Moore-702

Yeah, because black people do nothing, but eat chicken, watermelon, and shake their ass. Last time I checked white people eat more fried chicken than blacks do and white girls sure love to twerk as much as black girls do. What the hell would you know about what blacks contribute?!? You're just an ignorant, racist troll making stupid comments. All you've proven is that whites contribute nothing, but hate, ignorance, and bigotry

Earnest-Pettie
Earnest-Pettie moderator User

I'll give you a thumbs up on that comment despite the criticism! You know, we've been doing videos and galleries forever, and the blogs are a pretty new feature that we're all trying to get used to. We're going to have a lot of hit and misses before we figure out what's going to work the best. I think I've only done three at this point that I *really* like.

ajgmazzieri
ajgmazzieri UserTop Commenter

Oh yea... and your web designers are garbage... just look at your "keywords" search. Fuckin' useless. Amazing how websites like Revision3 collapse, and useless clowns that just repost old youtube videos 20 days later are still rolling. Being hated is your company's best asset. Don't get legit, or hire legit editors, or you will fold. People come here to rip this embarrassing operation.

Earnest-Pettie
Earnest-Pettie

I'll give you a thumbs up on that comment despite the criticism! You know, we've been doing videos and galleries forever, and the blogs are a pretty new feature that we're all trying to get used to. We're going to have a lot of hit and misses before we figure out what's going to work the best. I think I've only done three at this point that I *really* like.

ajgmazzieri
ajgmazzieri

Oh yea... and your web designers are garbage... just look at your "keywords" search. Fuckin' useless. Amazing how websites like Revision3 collapse, and useless clowns that just repost old youtube videos 20 days later are still rolling. Being hated is your company's best asset. Don't get legit, or hire legit editors, or you will fold. People come here to rip this embarrassing operation.

Earnest-Pettie
Earnest-Pettie moderator User

Whatever works! (which is clearly not avatars)

Ben-Snell-9
Ben-Snell-9 User

@Tim-Melton-Jr--200 they gave us peanut butter and we gave them lashes. bitch some  more. the white man is now a minority. and blacks get hired because they're black. we all ate each other welcome to america. home of the spoiled rotten punk ass kids.

Tim-Melton-Jr--200
Tim-Melton-Jr--200

Giving America nifty inventions such as the almanac, the stethoscope, the traffic lights, the guitar (as well as rock and roll), the majority of our music genres, the elevator, the front porch. Powerful military squadrons such as the Tuskegee Airmen, the Buffalo Soldiers, and the Triple Nickles As well as multiple medical accomplishments such as Ben Carson, the first surgeon to successfully separate conjoined twins. And my personal favorite is an entire college student body building a campus out of bricks t