The Evolution of Twerk


To us, to twerk basically means to shake one’s ass. In its history, it was not really associated with scandalous, sexy or raunchy behaviour. But now, we have a love affair with it because it is fun to learn and is hot as hell! Heck, we would even say it’s mesmerizing. Get a group of people in a line with their posteriors facing you, swinging and popping those bums back and forth, fat and motion coming together to create ripples across the butt cheeks and thighs, bouncing and jiggling all those good bits around… ...damn! That is some seriously hypnotising stuff!

Here at Sydney Pole we are big fans of butts. Big, small, round, flat, jiggly or static. If you got it, shake it! This is why a while ago, we thought it would be an excellent idea to start offering Twerking Classes in Sydney as a stream of our hip hop classes and to mix in with the other fun dance classes we have on offer. So we asked ReRe if she would come in and teach some twerking classes here at the studio. It’s now becoming one our student’s fave classes to mix in with their pole training regime - helping to build strength in the legs but also providing some serious booty-bouncing confidence.

From West Africa to the Inner West

Having done some research, the term dubbed “twerk” finds it’s origins in West Africa. It’s strikingly similar to the Mapouka dance from Côte d'Ivoire. This is a dance generally performed by women that focuses on the buttocks and it’s existed for centuries! Known colloquially as “la dance du fessier,” or “dance of the behind,” Mapouka is said to exist in two forms. First, there is a tamer, more traditional dance performed ceremonially for weddings or important celebrations. Secondly, there is the newer, more “sexy” version popular with young Ivoirians. See below for an example of the Mapouka from a dance studio far far away…

In more recent times, twerking has become commonly associated with the New Orleans “Bounce Scene” but is often also associated with Dancehall. Here in Oz we see twerking as a dance craze that is taking the western dance world by storm, like so many wonderful and iconic dance fads have done in the past, like the Charleston, the Lindy Hop or The Twist. It is fantastic to see that the roots of twerking are super rich and have spanned across lands, one bounce at a time.

What Happens in a Twerk Class?

Taking up twerking as a dance workout can really help keep you get fit, toned and provides some extra strength and cardio. It also adds a little confidence while you twerk your way to fitness. We can understand that, like pole, watching it can makes it seem very complicated. But when you start you will realise that twerking is nothing but a combination of movements that involve deep squats and pelvic tilts, and the rest is all attitude and face!

We have few options for those wanting to start some Twerk Classes. Our Twerk'nique classes are perfect for those new to Twerk and keen to learn the basic technique and signature moves. Or put it all into a sexy flow with our Twerk'ography classes. If you want to super-charge your workout, join us for Twerk'n'Pole, the perfect blend of your favourite Twerk and Pole moves!

Find out more about ReRe and the Twerk Classes that are offered here at Sydney Pole. Chat to any of the SP staff to find out more about our Twerking Classes and how you can get started.


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