Sunday, January 16, 2022

Twerking is becoming more than just a fad

The provocative dance has apparently been around for a while but like many in Botswana, I got to know about twerking after former MTV Video Awards Disney child star Miley Cyrus’s performance.

It is rather curious that after her controversial performance which generated a lot of negative publicity, the verb twerk was added into the Oxford Dictionary Online lexicon.

Some argue that twerking has its roots in a hip-hop and dance culture that existed long before the 20-year-old Cyrus was even a country singer, let alone a pop musician.

A small survey has shown that of the few people in Botswana who know about twerking, the larger number have come to know it after Miley’s antics.

Some claim to have been ‘twerkified’ from a visiting girl dance group called Protwerkers of South Africa. Earlier this year the seven ladies came to wow Batswana at the CBD rooftop and left many young ladies with a love for twerking. The fuss and hype about twerking has never stopped and many are trying to join the growing world of twerkers.

Last month, twerking craziness went on a frenzy. This was when in New York, USA 357 or 358 dancers twerked simultaneously, setting a world record for the Guinness World Book of Records’ “Most People Twerking Simultaneously” citation.

It was also on that day when 73-year-old Joan Wind twerked, amazing young twerkers.

The record breaking twerkers were led by US rapper Big Freedia. He is one of the few gay rappers and a self proclaimed “Queen of Bounce.”

But what is twerking?

According to the Oxford Dictionary, it is a dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance.

The Dictionary further states that the word twerk seems to have arisen in the early 1990s in the context of the bounce music scene of New Orleans.

Twerking is trending and seems to be here to stay, despite being countered by a lot of negative perceptions and social stigmas. Those against is see it as too sexualised and immoral.

The Sunday Standard Lifestyle had a meeting at a quite relaxation park near the State House with Botswana’s most sought after twerker, Maureen “Bouncy” Maila. Many fingers pointed at her when most twerking fanatics where asked who the best twerker is.

One of her splendid performance was at the recent Miss Global Botswana. Maila twerked the whole night and had male the male audience asking for more.

“I always look at the type of crowd when dancing. At Miss Global Botswana I noticed that the crowd was not that responsive to other artists and I thought what is trending right now? And I thought twerking…I decided to twerk,” said Maila in the interview.

The whole night Maila jiggled and jerked, swaying her rear end and seemed to enjoy the dance style.

The dance is said by most conservatives as being too sexual but Maila is of the notion that sex sells. She also recalls that her mother went through her computer and came across her twerking videos and was not impressed at all. Maila said she chooses to be oblivious of the social stigma against twerking.

“I am one person who likes to make everything and anything I do seem okay even if it seem not to other people. I have this thing of convincing and I can make people like twerking,” said the 21-one year old contemporary dancer.

Maila said after her mother expressed unhappiness with her twerking videos, she twerked for her mother and convinced her that twerking is not a bad thing after all.

Most people do not find twerking serious. But Maila said twerking can make money for a person or group. She said on good days she gets booked for big gigs. Maila said the average amount she makes for twerking is P3000.

Maila said twerking can be straining and needs a lot of strength. Fortunately she is fit for twerking and was born flexible.

Maila said she trains aspiring twerkers and even the famous twerkers (did not want to mention names) were trained by her.

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