8 Things About Twerking That You Probably Didn't Know

All in a day's twerk.

It sure seems everyone, including ballerinas and teachers, is twerking. However, when it comes to the history and medical benefits of this dance move, there are some major facts that often get overlooked. 

Here are eight things about twerking to turn you into a twerk-ologist, once and for all. 


1. It's in the dictionary.

Spelling bees got cooler when Oxford Dictionary added "twerk" as an official entry in 2013. The definition reads: "Dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance."

2. Miley Cyrus didn't invent it, Duh.

Sorry Miley, but you did not invent twerking. While the dance has been popularized in America in past decades, it has a much longer history. It's been associated with West African traditional dances, specifically, a style called Mapouka. And even the ancient Greeks had a similar move called "kordaks" or "kordax." This was a provocative dance in Greek comedies with similar movements as twerking. Zeus would be proud indeed.

3. New Orleans brought it to the U.S.

Twerking finally made it to the U.S. in 1993 when DJ Jubilee, who was part of the growing New Orleans' bounce music scene, declared in a song to "twerk baby, twerk baby, twerk, twerk, twerk." 

4. The Ying Yang Twins spelled it "twurk" in a song.

By 2000, twerking started to become mainstream in hip-hop. And then, the Ying Yang Twins confused everyone by spelling it differently in their song "Whistle While You Twurk." Since then, the spelling has been reaffirmed as T-W-E-R-K.

5. The longest twerk duration is over one hour.

While most twerk for just a couple of minutes, two BBC 1 Radio DJs did it for over an hour. Minutes after DJ Nick Grimshaw broke the Guinness World Record for longest twerk duration, with over one hour of movement, his co-worker DJ Greg James stole the title by clocking in at one hour and eight minutes. What a pain in the... you know.

6. A Mexican University is using it to encourage reading.

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With illiteracy being a major issue among young people in Mexico, it seems that Mexico's National Autonomous University started a "Grind A Book" campaign to make reading more fun. It basically combines twerking/grinding with classical literature works from Shakespeare and others. "To twerk, or not to twerk, that is the question."

7. It can cause back pain.

While the fitness and weight-loss benefits of twerking are well-documented, it seems there might be some adverse effects. Poor back posture related to twerking can result in pulled muscles, spasms and stiffness. If you twerk, hopefully your chiropractor will understand.

8. It can help get rid of constipation.

Move over Pepto Bismol and Indian cuisine, you might have some competition. While there is no official medical study, Miley Cyrus said that twerking cured her constipation. There was also a video of a woman twerking and then crapping her pants. So it seems your bowels might thank you for twerking.

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