Twerk Therapy

Split Twerking : stretching helps develop twerking splits

Twerk Therapy : Humananimal healing

Informed by somatic trauma release work RAZMA melds movement & meta-analysis of the physiological animal body trauma response. Shaking & shimmying allow us to release trauma patterns that are frozen in the body & reset our nervous systems. Twerking gets us in touch with our waterbody, creating waves of celebration & bubbling luscious laughter when we connect to our wellness wellspring womb. When we open our pelvis & second chakra, we unleash creative free flowing life force & emotional expression and feel the connection between mouth, voice, & hips. Being witnessed in a safe space & holding each other in a healing vibration normalizes group trauma release in dance as movement medicine. Come surf your sensation & awaken the waves of your waters.

Twerk History

The movements associated with / termed Twerk originated in Africa. Specifically, a dance called Mapouka from Côte d’Ivoire is often pointed to as a Twerk taproot {please go watch this highly technical muscle isolation dance, the level of skill is astounding}. Mapouka “was a celebratory dance for festivals and was widely accepted because people believed that this dance led to encounters with God. Research shows that Mapouka has been used as a way to decide mates for young men and women as well” (Ebony Wiggins). These Twerk movements were then carried widely in the Afro-diaspora to many regions such as the Caribbean and US in New Orleans bounce culture, where they were given the name Twerk, and from which the dance spread throughout America.

I am grateful to have been introduced to Twerking as my first American social dance form starting from 3rd grade in a diverse Chicago city school. I found welcome, healing, and celebration of my {typically shamed} curvy body type and ability to move on the dance floor in an innocent and uncomplicated way in this youthful enthusiastic welcome and encouragement of my peers. As I grow older I become aware of the complicated story of moving in this way and a broader cultural awareness of Twerking I was ignorant of for most of my life. This particular video was an impromptu teaching asked for after being witnessed twerking for my personal body healing expression. I will be filming a formal lesson in which the history of the Twerk form with be prominent and explored in depth. I have not formally taught Twerking because i have been ruminating on how to do so appropriately and I am moving forward with doing so because I have found an important connection between Twerk and healing trauma. In studying trauma release I am noticing the deep parallels between shaking to reset the nervous system and Twerking (and noticing the effects in my own body over many years) and seek to convey this value to mainstream culture which has policed, judged, and denigrated these movements and the bodies who engage them. I recognize my unique position of having Twerking be a formative part of my American cultural experience growing up without knowing the history of this form and now I am wanting and needing to educate myself more deeply on the roots of this movement. I welcome feedback, reading lists, and conversations on how to do this in a good way (which I hope is possible, and want to know how to make it so). I deeply respect and put forth Twerking as a heretofore unrecognized trauma healing modality.