Close your eyes for a moment and look into the future with me. It’s 2016 and you’re at a wedding. The effects of the open bar are beginning to loosen dance floor inhibitions, and the DJ is playing those songs that you thankfully only hear at weddings.
He’s played old standbys “Gangnam Style” and “Harlem Shake.” Then he takes to the mike and tells your Aunt Shirley that it’s time for the song she requested, Miley Cyrus’s “We Can’t Stop.” “C’mon Shirley!” the DJ calls. “It’s twerk time!”
You don’t need to be the Long Island Medium to see where twerking, the dance craze of the moment, is headed. It’s coming to a club, and then to a wedding, near you. Here’s a quick instructional: Put your hands on your hips, thrust your legs out, squat, shake your hips, repeat. Add arm movements and yell, “Look Mom, I’m twerking!” If you’re a gymnast, repeat these steps while standing on your head.
Perhaps motivated by the fact that “Achy Breaky Heart,” the 1992 hit by her dad Billy Ray Cyrus, inspired a country line dance, Miley Cyrus has appointed herself the poster child of twerk.
“I can’t believe how many people think I’m good at twerking — which is dope,” the eloquent 20-year-old told Ryan Seacrest after posting a video of herself twerking in a unicorn onesie. I’m not making this up.
The dance has been around since the 1990s, but when a “How to Twerk” tutorial was posted on YouTube in December, the dance booty-popped its way across America, drawing nearly 8 million views.
A twerk war is already brewing between Jay-Z and Cyrus. He name checks and laughs at the artist formerly known as “Hannah Montana” in his new song “Somewhere in America.” Can’t we all just twerk in peace? Meanwhile Cyrus is hoping to hold onto her twerk princess crown by collaborating with Justin Bieber and Lil Twist on a song called — wait for it — “Twerk.”
Take heart. You survived the Electric Slide. You lived through the Macarena. Twerking is far more exhausting than those dances. So when twerking finally hits the wedding circuit, your out-of-shape relatives will be begging the wedding DJ for slow jams again.Christopher Muther can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Chris_Muther