Twerking It Out: Controversies Across the Nation

Has the popular dance gone too far?

Twerk, Twerk, Twerk! - Theta Xi, a University of Michigan fraternity, made headlines on Nov. 4 for a Facebook post announcing a ?Hood Ratchet? party, featuring women in college gear ?twerking? in a handstand position. The ad was slammed for racially charged rhetoric, which called for ?basketball players, gangsters? and more to participate. BET.com takes a look at the evolution of the dance over the years. ? Dominique Zony??(Photo: Facebook via WorldStarHipHop)

1 / 9

Twerk, Twerk, Twerk! - Theta Xi, a University of Michigan fraternity, made headlines on Nov. 4 for a Facebook post announcing a “Hood Ratchet” party, featuring women in college gear “twerking” in a handstand position. The ad was slammed for racially charged rhetoric, which called for “basketball players, gangsters” and more to participate. BET.com takes a look at the evolution of the dance over the years. — Dominique Zonyéé(Photo: Facebook via WorldStarHipHop)

Where Does Twerking Come From? - With influences across the globe, hip hop culture inadvertently adopted twerking from African dances such as the Bobarba Dance, or ?big bottom? dance, and the once banned Mapouka dance from the Ivory Coast. The hip-shaking dance can be done to any beat-driven tune.(Photo: ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)

2 / 9

Where Does Twerking Come From? - With influences across the globe, hip hop culture inadvertently adopted twerking from African dances such as the Bobarba Dance, or “big bottom” dance, and the once banned Mapouka dance from the Ivory Coast. The hip-shaking dance can be done to any beat-driven tune.(Photo: ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)

When Did It Become a ?Household? Name? - The word ?twerking? gained its claim to fame in 1993 when DJ Jubilee from New Orleans released his dance hit ?Do the Jubilee All.? On the track, he ad-libbed the word ?twerk? to the rhythm beat. Twerking resurfaced on the hip hop scene in 2000 with the Ying Yang Twins? ?Whistle While You Twurk.?(Photo: Miley Cyrus via Twitter)

3 / 9

When Did It Become a “Household” Name? - The word “twerking” gained its claim to fame in 1993 when DJ Jubilee from New Orleans released his dance hit “Do the Jubilee All.” On the track, he ad-libbed the word “twerk” to the rhythm beat. Twerking resurfaced on the hip hop scene in 2000 with the Ying Yang Twins’ “Whistle While You Twurk.”(Photo: Miley Cyrus via Twitter)

Gay New Orleans Rapper Twerks Off - Big Freedia, star of the Fuse TV show Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce, recently won a Guinness World Records title for most people twerking simultaneously with more than 250 people in New York's Herald Square. That was the first time anyone had tried to get twerking into the Guinness Book of World Records.(Photo: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)

4 / 9

Gay New Orleans Rapper Twerks Off - Big Freedia, star of the Fuse TV show Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce, recently won a Guinness World Records title for most people twerking simultaneously with more than 250 people in New York's Herald Square. That was the first time anyone had tried to get twerking into the Guinness Book of World Records.(Photo: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)

Twerking Gone Bad - At the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, Miley Cyrus? twerk-tastic grind on crooner Robin Thicke put twerking into the national consciousness. African-American women and men clapped back when several critics said the dance was associated with low-income African-American women. Even Big Freddia was ?baffled? by what he said was Miley Cyrus? ?attempt to twerk.?(Photo: Andrew H. Walker/WireImage)

5 / 9

Twerking Gone Bad - At the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, Miley Cyrus’ twerk-tastic grind on crooner Robin Thicke put twerking into the national consciousness. African-American women and men clapped back when several critics said the dance was associated with low-income African-American women. Even Big Freddia was “baffled” by what he said was Miley Cyrus’ “attempt to twerk.”(Photo: Andrew H. Walker/WireImage)

ADVERTISEMENT
#AskTeddyWayne - Writer Teddy Wayne was the subject of the Black Twitter sting when he wrote that ?twerking is a dance move typically associated with lower-income African-American women? in the New York Times. Those pissed with his commentary wrote him with the sentiment that he did not have the authority to explain anything in Black culture. ?I?d like to increase my access to healthy, affordable foods. what dances can i dance to make this happen? #AskTeddyWayne? @drugfreekeisha asked. (Photo: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)

6 / 9

A “Hood Ratchet” Party for Twerkers? - Theta XI fraternity at University of Michigan? targeted basketball players, thugs, twerkers and gangsters in their “Hood Ratchet” party advertisement.  In a letter addressed to students, the university acknowledged that “the language of the invitation and theme of the party denigrated all women and African American/black identified people through racial stereotypes.” (Photo: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)

Hampton University Says No Twerking - FAMU earns $13 million research grant, Alabama State dancers at MTV VMAs, plus more HBCU news. ? Dominique Zony??Since Miley Cyrus?s infamous viral video and her performance at the 2013 MTV VMAs, Hampton University has decided to put an end to the booty-shaking dance at the school. A viral image of an HU orientation featuring a slide that read ?Hampton University women do not twerk!? made the rounds on social media this week.(Photo: Hampton University)

7 / 9

Hampton University Lectures Students About Twerking - Almost immediately after the MTV Music Video Awards aired, a Twitter image from Hampton University’s freshman convocation featuring the message “Hampton Ladies Do Not Twerk!!!” went viral. The tweet caused confusion that the HBCU was banning twerking. However twerking was not banned but simply referenced due to recent events and to get students attention.(Photo: Hampton University)

Aliso Niguel High School Bans Twerking - In attempts to thwart students from practicing the sexually charged dance, Aliso Niguel High School officials banned twerking from school dances and events on campus on Oct. 29. ?Anything that's of a sexually suggestive nature is not appropriate at a school dance,? said Joshua Hill, principal of Junipero Serra High School, a San Juan Capistrano, California, school in the same district as Aliso Niguel.(Photo: Annapolis High School in Maryland)

8 / 9

Aliso Niguel High School Bans Twerking - In attempts to thwart students from practicing the sexually charged dance, Aliso Niguel High School officials banned twerking from school dances and events on campus on Oct. 29. “Anything that's of a sexually suggestive nature is not appropriate at a school dance,” said Joshua Hill, principal of Junipero Serra High School, a San Juan Capistrano, California, school in the same district as Aliso Niguel.(Photo: Annapolis High School in Maryland)

North Thurston Public Schools Makes Students Sign the Dotted Line - YouTube and social media are some of today?s biggest influences on youth, according to Courtney Schrieve with North Thurston Public Schools in Thurston County, Washington.  The school came up with a contract for parents and students, which prohibits students from bending over ?45 degrees while dancing.?(Photo: Courtesy WFSB News Hartford, CT)

9 / 9

North Thurston Public Schools Makes Students Sign the Dotted Line - YouTube and social media are some of today’s biggest influences on youth, according to Courtney Schrieve with North Thurston Public Schools in Thurston County, Washington.  The school came up with a contract for parents and students, which prohibits students from bending over “45 degrees while dancing.”(Photo: Courtesy WFSB News Hartford, CT)