Twerking isn’t a dance style all on its own. It is one of a huge variety of moves that came out of the bounce dance scene in 1980s New Orleans, with the name itself possibly coming from a mixture of “twist” and “jerk” or from a contraction of “to work” (said as a form of encouragement to dancers). Either way, twerking was that move from bounce dance that went viral and shows no signs of stopping.

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Check out this video of Fraule’s to see modern twerking in action. It can be achieved in all sorts of ways but all of them involve being able to shake your hips and booty. It’s a fun move that was popular all throughout the Dirty South for decades before it went viral after Miley Cyrus’s infamous performance at the MTA VMA Music Awards. Suddenly twerking was everywhere and everyone wanted to learn how to do it.

Since then, twerking has taken on a life of its own beyond its roots in the bounce music scene. You can even become a qualified twerk instructor to teach other people how to perform the move. So why has twerking stayed so popular even while other viral dance moves die away?

First of all, it looks genuinely impressive once you learn how to do it and it’s the sort of move that you can bust out when you’re partying to great acclaim. But it is also popular because it is so accessible. People of any body size and shape can learn how to twerk and do it well. And it is really, really good for fitness. It’s a mixture of strength and cardio that will really help to tone your hips, bum, and thighs.

If you’re going to learn to twerk, it can be really helpful to wear the right clothing. This should be very tight and high shorts or a leotard so that you can really get a feel for what your muscles are doing. Check out our guide to dance costumes here for some ideas.

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