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Teens and Twerking: A Short Guide

Even if you didn’t catch Miley Cyrus’s performance at the VMA awards last week, you probably saw some reference to the former Hannah Montana star’s “twerking” come across your social media somewhere.

And if you thought, TWER-what, well, you weren’t alone. As the controversy broke out, you could almost hear the sound of millions of parents across the country scratching their heads. “Twerking? What’s that?”

A Twerking Guide For Confused Parents

So, for those of you who are not yet in the know about what twerking is, here’s the scoop. Urban Dictionary defines twerking as when a dancer, typically a female dancer, “moves or shakes her buns, bottom, buttocks in a circular, up-and-down, and side-to-side motion.”

But hold on, there’s more (oh goodie, right?). While twerking, the dancer will often thrust her, er, rear into the crotch of the other dancer, who may also get in on the thrusting (sorry, we mean, twerking). Starting to get a picture? If not, go to YouTube and search for twerking. All will be revealed (and probably more than you care to see).

So here’s the deal. Your teenager has likely heard of twerking and may even be participating in the fad. Hint: if he or she is suddenly going to parties in sweatpants or yoga pants, pay attention. Teenagers favor these garments because they let them feel their twerking partner’s body better than they can in jeans or other garments.

Of course, this is certainly not the first, nor the last, form of “dirty dancing” that teenagers will try (remember grinding). But if the idea of your teenager twerking doesn’t thrill you, then experts recommend using the controversy as a “teachable moment.” Start by just casually asking what your teenager has heard about the controversy and take it from there. Good luck.

Diana Simeon is an editorial consultant for Your Teen.

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