History of twerking

Africa's many tribes have developed their own unique dances, typically accompanied by vocal and percussive music that varied from tribe to tribe. The dances fell into three main categories: Ritual (religious), Ceremonial, and Griotic (storytelling). Africans brought their dances to North and South America, and the Caribbean Islands as slave labor starting in the 1500s. The dance styles of hundreds of African ethnic groups merged with European dances, forming the extension of the African aesthetic in the Americas. Dance has always been an integral part of daily life in Africa. In the Americas, it helped enslaved Africans connect with their homeland keeping their cultural traditions alive.

Most African villages had a "dance master" who taught the members of the tribe from a very young age how to perform the various dances. It was very important that these dances be performed exactly as taught, with no room for improvisation or ornamentation until complete mastery of the form was achieved.

  • One of the many knows earliest ancestors in the twerk industry is a dance called the mapouka, which comes from the Ivory Coast in Africa. This dance at some point even became ganned from Ivory Coast´s due to its suggestive nature. While twerking isn't a carbon copy of this centuries old booty-shaking dance, there is a definite familial resemblance. The mapouka is still practiced today, and it is generally a dance that's meant to showcase joy and happiness. Nevertheless my dear students, I do want to remind you that, Mapouka is not the only dance style that has the same elements that we see in today twerking scene.

  • There are various types of dances such as: Galala, baikoko, sega dance, bobaraba(big buttom) dance, soukous, lembeul, niiko and the list could go on and on. These dances are divided and can be found in different areas in Africa: Senegal, Somalia, Congo, Kenia, Tanzania, Kenya and Cote d iviore.

  • Now we are all bringing it back to this day. Booty dance, known as twerking. Twerking was back in the 80s introduced into the hip-hop culture by way of the New Orleans bounce music scene, that is also where the term twerking comes from. In 1993, there was a song named " Do the jubilee all" witch was recorded by Dj Jubilee. In that song he sang "twerk baby, twerk baby, twerk, twerk, twerk. The music video of that song increased the popularity of twerking.

    There has been numerous occasions through our cultural history, where booty dance has been eye-catching and woken curiosity among us people. Isn't it interesting?

    Fell free to discuss with me more about the impact in the twerk scene and how has it change through the years since it was "discovered" by the media. I want to also add that my job as an educator/ teacher is to learn more about what i preach and share. i do not know everything and i dont have all the possible answer of this beautiful dance style. But im more that eager to find out more things to learn and educate myself as well.
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