Twerking is at an all time high and we love twerking! If you are late to the game or you are 80 years old then you might not know what twerking is. Twerking is a type of dance originating as part of the bounce music scene of New Orleans but mostly Florida in the early 1980s. Ass shaking debuted world wide when Luke and 2 Live Crew had girls in thongs twerking around a jacuzzi which is the standard now for rap videos. Individually-performed, chiefly but not exclusively by women, dancers move throwing or thrusting their hips back or shaking their buttocks, often in a low squatting stance.
Russian models and entertainers have been one of the most influenced by the terk movement with entertainers like Valerie and Ekaterina Melnikova who has a dance team and does team twerk videos who have emerged from the underground to showcase work on youtube. Unlike Ekaterina, Miss Blizzard works solo most of the time and incorporates american hip hop in her dance routines showing how much America has influenced these young ladies in Russian. The irony is that Russian government officials actually have showed twerking and is a taboo that some must do illegally. With ass shaking being forbidden, it created a movement where girls sneak around to record professional videos for their dance routine kind of like the porn industry inits 1970’s prime.
In a Broadly article published in 2015 Fannie Sosa a brazilian that owns a twerk shop, believes that twerking is a way to connect to the wisdom of ancient witches. "These dances were celebratory rituals and a therapeutic practice," Sosa explains to me. "Twerking comes from the black culture of New Orleans, and it's about reclaiming the space, saying I'm alive, I'm beautiful, I'm visible. It's not just a cool move you can do in your room or in front of the camera, this is something which you need to take to a public space. This is where twerking really takes its power."
Most view terking as soemthing strippers do to get tips or a rapper showcasing a dancer shaking her ass to sell more records, but in Russia, twerking in public is no laughing matter. This year has seen a number of what can only be described as twerk scandals, in which girls dancing in public were met with public shaming, moralizing outcries, and even court sentences.
The first scandal in April involved a video filmed at a school concert in Orenburg, a Russian city close to the border of Kazakhstan. A dance troupe of schoolgirls, dressed as bumblebees, performed a twerk-based dance loosely inspired by Winnie the Pooh. The clip went viral, much to the disgust of the Russian authorities, and a special committee was launched to investigate all children's dance groups in the region.
Two weeks later, a video of six girls twerking in Novorossiysk in the south of Russia caught the attention of public prosecutors. The monumental sculpture behind them was a World War II monument called Malaya Zemlya, built to commemorate a Soviet military victory against the Nazis. This time, three women ended up in prison for ten to 15 days for petty hooliganism, and another two paid fines. The mother of one underage dancer also had to pay a fee for failing to instill proper moral development in her daughter.
Since the origins of Booty shaking date back to ancient civilization in Africa and Brazil, twerking isn't going anywhere any time soon. In fact twerking should be recognized as a holiday and we should have days honoring the booty goddesses of our universe. Is that too much to ask? Anyway… We look forward to seeing more of Valeria’s dance videos and will continue to Report on her progress.
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