Is there any word more trendy in the past couple weeks than “twerking”? I don’t think so. Thanks to Miley Cyrus, you literally can’t go to a gossip site without seeing twerking news.


My thoughts exactly, Miley.

As a voracious gossip consumer, this is getting annoying. However, as a fitness blogger, this is great because I am about to turn twerking into a fitness post.

So twerking is dancing. Very provocative, rather inappropriate, hip-swinging, booty-shaking dancing.  However, as we all know, today’s dance that angers the older generation is tomorrow’s exercise class craze (see your local pole dancing studio for details) because dancing is a great workout and really fun. And if you need to explain twerking to your parents, the New York Times wants to help you with that.

Twerking is not new. The name is new, but nothing else about it is really all that new. Lets explore history’s top 8 twerkers, shall we?

(And no, Miley doesn’t even make the list)

8. Elvis


7. Ross

ross dancing

6. Kevin Bacon in Footloose:


5. Napoleon Dynamite:

napoleon dynamite dancing

4. John Travolta in Grease:

jogn travolta grease

3. John Travolta again in Saturday Night Fever:

john travolta dancing

2. Beyonce:

beyonce dancing

1. Baby in Dirty Dancing. When she’s not in the corner.

dirty dancing

So call it what you will, I guarantee there will be twerk classes at your local fitness studio before you know it. Get twerking y’all.

Are you a good dancer?

What do you think of this dance craze? Cool or too inappropriate?

Favorite dance movie??

PS- I’d like to thank you all SO SO much for your comments yesterday! You have no idea how much each one means to me. This community is crazy awesome. Thank you!!

88 Thoughts on “Top 8 Historical Twerkers

  1. I am NOT a great dancer at all, but I love this post! :-)

    Favorite dance movie – Dirty Dancing!!!!! :-)
    Lisa recently posted…Fun Filled WeekendMy Profile

  2. I’ve been Twerkering for years and loving it… but I called it the “Baking Dance” for luck with the delicious treats!
    carlotta recently posted…Monday’s BirdsMy Profile

  3. Hahahahahahaha. I’m so glad I decided to go on my laptop during my designated procrastinating break now and read this. How dare Miley claim the twerk as hers!

    I don’t even think Twerking should be classified as a dance craze. It should be a fitness move though- your hips, glutes and back get quite the workout. I like to think I’m a good dancer but I’m alone in that camp.
    Arman @ thebigmansworld recently posted…The big man cooks- chewy no bake granola barsMy Profile

  4. Love this!!…and I really love John Travolta who is right up there with Elvis when it comes to the invention of twerking!
    Allie recently posted…THIS GIRL’S FANTASY? FOOTBALL!My Profile

  5. Well, I guess I’ve been twerking for a while, since I’m a Zumba fan! 😉 But, I do love dancing and I’d like to think I’m pretty good at it!
    Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat recently posted…Guest Posting for Gold Standard WomenMy Profile

  6. Hahaha I’m dying. I love this so much. The whole twerking thing is starting to get on my nerves too but you just made me crack up with this post. I think that the whole twerking craze is interesting because it’s a move that’s been around for a while, people are just going nuts because a former Disney star chose to make it her signature.
    Ang @ Nutty for Life recently posted…What Summer 2013 Taught MeMy Profile

  7. “’s dance that angers the older generation is tomorrow’s exercise class craze (see your local pole dancing studio for details) ” Oh my – my belly aches from reading this line and THE WHOLE POST!
    Can someone with 2 left feet be a good dancer?
    I have to agree with Arman – twerking is a really great “hips, glutes and back” workout!
    shashi @ recently posted…Copycat (almost) “No Bake Almond Fudge Protein Bars”My Profile

  8. I confess that I don’t want to see twerking becoming the new fitness craze – there are some people I can think of that I do not need to see doing things like that. I do love to dance though, and watching dance movies is one of my guilty pleasures. Things like Center Stage, Coyote Ugly, and Step Up? 😆 I was all over those… But don’t tell… I have an image to maintain 😉
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…. WIAW … blogging made me do it .My Profile

    • hahaha your secret is safe with me :) mostly because we share a love of center stage (i used to watch that all the time) and step up 2 still makes me drop whatever im doing when it comes on tv :)

  9. I’m a horrible dancer, but my girls give me a good excuse (and cover!) to get out on the dance floor and shake what my mama gave me!

    So glad Miley didn’t make the top 8! I think the earlier generation of twerkers were much classier!
    Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama recently posted…SITS Day & SunshineMy Profile

  10. Lawlz at the New York Times article. And love John Travolta. Because how could you not? I have mixed feelings about twerking…on one hand, it’s kind of like belly dancing where it’s sort of “revealing” but I suppose anyone who can do it is a pretty good dancer. Or maybe I’m just jealous, because I lack any sort of coordination whatsoever. :)
    Beth @ Mangoes and Miles recently posted…Sometimes the Depth of My Thoughts Surprises MeMy Profile

    • oh i know! its not like i could do it and make it look appealing in any way. beyonce on the other hand owns it. i sometimes wish i was beyonce. ok i wish i was beyonce all the time.

  11. Omg! This is hilarious! I think twerking has to be one of the weirder things in society at the moment! The mileage I’ve gotten out of twerking jokes is amazing though!
    Katherine recently posted…Fall Lust List.My Profile

  12. Ross and Rachel is classic (for those of us that are Friends fans anyway). I avoid the dance floor except at weddings…that have an open bar. Either way it is not pretty, ever.
    Tom T. recently posted…Labor Day Weekend RecapMy Profile

  13. Haha these gifs are fantastic- twerking really has made its mark, eh! I’d like to think I am a good dancer but apparently I can’t compare to what has preceded me ;)! My favorite dance movie is probably Save the Last Dance- I’ve seen that movie more times than I can even remember!!

  14. I love htis post! Great way to start my morning. I think that twerking, when done by someone who knows what they are doing, is an ok dance. I’ll admit, I’ve tried it once or twice myself. Bless Miley’s heart, she just doesn’t have the correct equipment to be twerking as hard as she’s trying.
    Liz recently posted…Down To The Wire!My Profile

  15. Crying with laughter and LOVING every single one you featured. The Baby not being in the corner line made me burst out laughing! Awesome post in every way!-Ashley

  16. so i’m totally going to show my age here and admit that i only found out what twerking was like, the day after the VMAs :\ i know, right?! i just thought miley was shaking her ass but i had no idea there was an actual word for it.
    kathy @ vodka and soda recently posted…Healthy Living Tips + Brazil Butt Lift GiveawayMy Profile

  17. BAHAHA you kill me. i am so over twerking. and especially over miss miley unless she releases “party in the usa.. again” or something like that. i freaking love that song. i am a terrible dancer. i wouldn’t know a rhythm if it fell on top of me and pinned me beneath it.
    Caitlyn @ City and the Cubicle recently posted…Caitlyn CombatMy Profile

  18. STOP IT. This just made me laugh so hard at work (slightly embarrassing, no shame) I just found your blog and this is the first post I read… I love you already! LOL
    Julie @ Health Nut Julie recently posted…Crock Pot Chicken and Getting OrganizedMy Profile

  19. Sometimes I just really wish I had Beyonce’s legs.
    Sarah @ Sweet Miles recently posted…Headbands of Hope + a Giveaway!My Profile

  20. I’d like to say that Twerking would never become a fitness craze, but I’m sure lots of people were saying that about pole dancing classes a decade ago…which happen to be a lot of fun! I’d like to think that I’m a decent dancer, but considering that most of my dancing occurs at the bar after I’ve had a few, my judgement may be a tad skewed in that area 😉
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles recently posted…Book Club Day: Raising My Rainbow by Lori Duron.My Profile

  21. ALL of these people twerk better than Miley.. shame, shame. I am a terrible dancer and last time I tried Zumba I basically marched in place the whole time, it was pretty pathetic.
    Heather Murphy recently posted…A circuit workout that targets your coreMy Profile

  22. Haha these are awesome! I love dancing and I like to hope I’m pretty good at it!
    Kelly @ Kelly Runs For Food recently posted…Black Bean and Avocado SaladMy Profile

  23. Hahah. Ok so before we get into the twerking, can anyone explain why Miley has her tongue out in every single picture lately? Wtf? Seriously.. I don’t understand why she feels this is necessary. Now the twerking – to be honest, I didn’t even know what tweking was until a few weeks ago. Oops. I take it as some sort of thrusting dance move that really isn’t my cup of tea. I’ll stick with the shopping cart and sprinkler moves.
    Christine @ Gotta Eat Green recently posted…August Grocery Store FavouritesMy Profile

    • yes! i love the shopping cart and sprinkler! and the lawn mower! now those are dances i can get into. and seriously what is with the tongue?! is she thirsty? is it swollen? is she having a small seizure? somebody needs to find out.

  24. NO JOKE the other day I wanted to learn how to twerk (look, when you’re unemployed and the boyfriend goes out of town, you have to keep yourself busy) and googled it, this video will teach even the most uncoordinated person how to twerk. Not that you would ever want to do that in a public setting, but still, having that on your “list of things I can do” is pretty awesome… or embarrassing… I don’t know now.
    Em @ Have Your Cake And recently posted…Things I’m Loving LatelyMy Profile

  25. Can we talk about the fact that as soon as I saw that picture of Miley, I knew this was going to be a great post?

    You are TOTALLY right! Twerking did not just appear on the VMAs last week. However, I’m thankful that the others that you mentioned didn’t stick out their tongues for their entire performances. Don’t think the Gene Simmons look is for Miley.
    Amy @ Long Drive Journey recently posted…I’d Like to Thank the Academy…My Profile

  26. I love this post!!!! I love Miley too… I think she is sorts crazy but i still can relate to her. Unlike Gaga who I find hard to relate to. Anyways Team Miley.
    Reba- Not So Perfect Life recently posted…Strawberry Almond Biscuits- VeganMy Profile

    • thats actually really interesting, but you’re totally right. gaga is not relateable in the least, but there’s something about Miley you can kinda understand she’s going through a phase, which is very relateable. also, i like that she’s just owning this phase of hers. good for her.

  27. Haha…I remember twerking from when I was a teenager! Wasn’t there a rap song that said something about twerking? I thought that was where we got it from.

    I actually have seen Miley’s performance. I can imagine it’s pretty bad from what I’ve heard. What is it with all of these Disney stars turning into nut-jobs?
    What the hell is Disney doing to them?

  28. Ok I love this post! What a great observation! You’re so right that the next thing we are going to see if “Twerking” on the fitness class schedule. I love dance classes. Not sure I would get behind a Twerk class but I do love Zumba and anything that remotely resembles a Beyonce dance! :)
    FitBritt@MyOwnBalance recently posted…Learn Basic Zumba Moves with This Easy GuideMy Profile

  29. Oh twerking…so not a fan of this new dance trend. It’s just a whole bunch of oddness to me. If I start seeing it when I go out, I may just cry a little.
    Is it still sad I like Miley Cyrus…I’m thinking fame can just do a number on you.
    Also I can not dance at all, it’s quite tragic really.
    Lisa recently posted…CurrentlyMy Profile

  30. I don’t know if this is a knock on my own humor but this made me laugh so hard… loved it!
    olivetorun recently posted…Sometimes, Running Just Sucks.My Profile

  31. Haha! John Travolta is all over the twerking phase. I cannot read another thing about Miley Cyrus, but I do laugh every morning during Kelly and Michael because they constantly say, “Twerk it, Miley”. Michael Strahan doing dance moves just make my morning, I guess! The only way I’ll go to a twerking class is if everyone has to wear Miley Cyrus’ outfit!

  32. I am thrilled twerking has become a thing since it’s not so far off from being a terrible dancer which is precisely what I am. Also I know it’s been so overdone but this kills me:
    Davida @ The Healthy Maven recently posted…A Smorgasbord of FoodMy Profile

  33. Haha, this is awesome! :) Miley didn’t make the cut and I just can’t understand why!? Her dancing is far superior than Beyonce! Um, no. No to that. :) Per usual, you have my LOLing (see local pole dancing)! I am the WORST dancer ever so I never do it. Ever.
    Meghan @ fitnesscrEATures recently posted…My Charleston + The RUN.My Profile

    • oh i’m terrible. it usually takes a bit of wine to get me going, but then suddenly every song is “my song” yeah im that girl. lets not talk about it. i pretend im not.

  34. This is monstrously funny! My favorite dance movie would definitely have to be Black Swan, it’s just so nuts!!
    Clara (@SoThintellect) recently posted…September Goals & Training UpdateMy Profile

  35. Napoleon! Great movie, even better tweak! Mylie’s momma needs to put her in her place ASAP.
    Sara @ Fit.Fun.Femme recently posted…Hey there 30…where’d you come from?My Profile

  36. That picture of Ross and Rachel is CLASSIC! hahaha :)

    Favorite dance movie? I’m going to go old-school and say West Side Story. Sure there isn’t a lot of twerking going on, but how those gangs managed to prance around Manhattan and still be members of bad-ass gangs escapes me 😛
    Mitchell recently posted…Book Review: Women, Food & God by Geneen RothMy Profile

  37. This is hilarious! I would consider myself a pretty good “twerker” but the moment has to be right 😉 haha Fave dance movie is Grease if that counts <3

  38. I just started at that Beyonce gif for like, 5 minutes. She’s amazing. And I want to be her.

    Wait. What were we talking about?
    Carly @ Snack Therapy recently posted…I’ll NeverMy Profile

    • right?! i did the same thing! this post took longer to write than it should have bc that gif is hypnotizing, and then i tried those moves in a mirror, and the whole thing got off track fast

  39. I love your list of historical twerkers!!
    I am the worst dancer ever (zero rhythm!!) until I have a bit (more than a bit) of wine or some other fun beverage and then there is no stopping me – good times!!
    Kim recently posted…Positive Patty Triumphs over Debbie Downer!!!My Profile

  40. This. post. is. awesome. I laughed and laughed. And I will die of laughing the day I see “Twerking for Fitness” on the schedule at the gym. :) Thanks for making my day. :)
    Cassie @ Rural Running Redhead recently posted…A Few of my Favorite Things: Running Books EditionMy Profile

  41. Okay, Napoleon Dynamite’s dance scene is definitely one of the best of all time.

    I’m an *okay* dancer in that I have a decent sense of rhythm. I do not, however, have enough booty to twerk well :(
    Alex @ Brain, Body, Because recently posted…New PathsMy Profile

  42. I was busy for a day and I miss this hilarious post…
    LAUGHING like crazing looking at clips and NO, no not twerking…nopee.
    I am kinda a old person trapped in a young person’s body:)…
    Ash-foodfashionparty recently posted…SPINACH PAKODI KADHI with roasted garlic- GUEST POSTMy Profile

  43. I just found your blog and this is the first post I read and I LOLed, literally. I love #7 and Beyonce somehow makes it look good? Or socially acceptable anyway, which I guess shouldn’t come as a surprise. She is Beyonce after all.

    I danced for 14 years, so I would consider myself a good dancer but not so much a good twerker. Practice makes perfect though, right? I mean…if that’s what all the cool kids are doing..
    Erin @ The Almond Eater recently posted…I’m Going BlindMy Profile

  44. I seriously have the rhythm of a stick…and I’m not talking one of those smooth moving in the breeze Weeping Willow ones…I mean the old dried up and crusty, sitting at the curbside, reject sticks! I’m pretty sure I’d break something if I tried twerking. And I’m sorry, but am I really THAT old because just saying the word “twerking” makes me feel like I should close the curtains and whisper…and I STILL feel dirty!
    Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli recently posted…My Big Fat GREEK BreakfastMy Profile

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