Essay on The Origin and Evolution of Twerking

Essay on The Origin and Evolution of Twerking

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Miley Cyrus recently made headlines for her performance on stage at the MTV Music Awards, shaking her rear end in what many described as a scandalous or inappropriate manner, while barely dressed in what was akin to a skimpy bathing suit. Anyone who watched the news in the days following her August 25, 2013, performance at the Video Music Awards could not have missed the commentary, and there was a lot of commentary. Some thought Miley’s performance was extreme and perverted. People talked, and many pondered this new dance. Was this artistic expression, or obscene absurdity, and did Miley create this new dance known as, “twerking?”
This paper discusses the origins of twerking, its transplantation from its origins into the American dance scene, and Miley’s performance of the progressive version of the original dance. It also explores the values and criticisms associated with the dance, and some of today’s social views of the dance. Finally, it discusses the historical aspects of the dance and considers the future of twerking.
Performance by Miley Cyrus
As background, Miley appeared on stage on the night of August 25, scantily clad, and performed a dance that is now commonly referred to as, “twerking.” She appeared to have made this dance famous, as she received massive media coverage and commentary, comedic reprisals, and critical acclaim by some as to her media genius. In fact, this term was added to The Oxford Dictionary Online just this year. “Twerk” is defined as, a “dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low squatting dance” (Definition of twerk in English). Miley certainly did dance in a sexually provocative manner, thrusting her hips and squatting as she co...


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... is the original of ‘twerk’? Oxfordwords Blog. 29 August 2013. Web. 26 November 2013.
Philpott, Alexis. “The Evolution of Twerking.” The Marquee. 10 October 2013. Web. 07 November 2013.
Powell, Azizi. “Cote D’Ivoire’s Mapouka Dance - The Roots of Twerking”. Pancocojams. 16 May 2013. Web. 30 November 2013.
Richardson, Elaine. "Developing Critical Hip Hop Feminist Literacies: Centrality and Subversion of Sexuality in the Lives of Black Girls." Equity & Excellence in Education Routledge 08 August 2013. 327-341. Web. 07 November 2013.

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