Twerking: A New Word I Didn’t Need to Learn

The definition: “Twerk, v.: dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance.”

I could have lived the rest of my life not knowing this.

But excuse me, Oxford Dictionary, I take issue with the word “dance.” Call me old (please don’t call me old), call me old-fashioned. Dance? Puh-lease. This is dance:

This is dance:

And this:

And, of course, this (arguably the most imitated dance move ever):

Dance evolves. Some of it is timeless, like Fred and Ginger. But twerking? That not evolving, it’s devolving. Look it up.

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12 Comments

I had to look up ‘twerking’. Stupid word that seems to say a lot more about cultural sensibilities than anything else. I have never seen the offending vid of Miley Cyrus (and have no intention of doing so, either). It’s not the dance moves, it’s the fact that I don’t like that sort of music and it would comprise several minutes of my time that I’d never get back again… Good on her Dad for stating his unconditional love, no matter what – that is such a great attitude and value for a parent to have.

Apropos the – er – ‘dance move’ itself, there ain’t nothing new under the sun. Frank Zappa wrote a song lampooning the very same thing, back in 1968. The mere mention of it in lyrics back then (minus the action) was one of the things that got him banned from performing in the Royal Albert Hall.

And I figure nobody’s seen Rarotongan dancing and related Polynesian forms of it.- I have, on Rarotonga. Quite seemly, but symbolic in abstract though fairly obvious ways. The missionaries got at it pretty promptly in the nineteenth century, but it’s been revived in more traditional form since.

Thanks for the definition … I was wondering what that meant. When I watched a video clip of Cyrus’s dance, I could only think how much she looked like a primate in estrus – perhaps a gibbon, mandrill, or baboon who, with rump swollen and sensitive, presents herself to prospective mates. (What can I say, over the years I have read a LOT of books about various members of the animal kingdom to and with my grandson. 🙂 )

I SO agree. I didn’t know what it was until Miley Cyrus, and in no way should what she did at the MTV Music Awards be considered dancing. Love this post. (and love Dirty Dancing and your other references to prove what dance really is)

Oh, and in all your videos–they’re completely dressed!

Amen, Martha! Fred and Ginger would probably be appalled at the VMA performances. I miss them..a lot!!

Holy POOP! you and I both! This twerking thingy is all over the Internet and I had no idea what it was so today i decided to Google it. Jeez, it looks like I’ve been ‘twerking’ and dancing and all sorts of things for years! I don’t understand it. What’s new?

Nice one Martha and thanks for making me laugh so much that I did a nose spurt of my Jack Daniels and soda all over my laptop screen! (now that really IS Twerking!) xxx

    HAHA!! Lottie, YOU make me laugh! This stuff is in any club around here on a given weekend night, so I knew it existed. I did NOT know there was a name for it. No more face to face dancing, I guess.

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