“Twerkify Your Life,” a dance class taught by junior Tierra Masupha, also known as “Miss T.,” is held every Saturday in the Multi-Purpose Room located in the Buchanan Kiewit Wellness Center. Masupha’s mission is to promote body positivity through twerking. Students must pay $2 for an hour-long class, or $5 for the entire day. The class focuses on speed, endurance, forms, as well as technique and rhythm. Afterwards, there is a “freestyle twerk-ation” where the floor is open for students to show off their moves and have a good time.
Masupha argues that, “twerking requires you to move and expose parts of the body that you may not be comfortable with or like or find beautiful.” She believes that body positivity on campus as a whole could be increased through this course. “It is a fun dance that makes you feel good about those body parts.”
“Twerkify Your Life” was advertised by word-of-mouth and a Facebook page at the beginning of Body Positivity Week. In the future, flyers will be posted around campus to continue the popularity of the class. The class, open to everyone, often draws women, non-gender conforming individuals and people of color to participate.
Freshman Annyce Brackins expressed that the class is “a fun activity to do with your girls or guys where you can hype each other up.”
The class begins with ten minutes of stretching which Masupha explains is necessary because “twerking is a full-body workout just as dancing is a full-body workout.
Stretching before any form of movement is good for the body. Also stretching can empower you because of the flexibility you gain from doing it consistently.” The class ends with fifteen minutes of meditation.
According to Masupha there are multiple techniques of twerking including squatting, utilizing the wall, utilizing the ground, laying and more. “My favorite to teach would be twerking while utilizing the ground because the technique is so interesting and it makes me feel amazing when I teach it.” Twerking challenges you to use all muscles, especially your arms, legs, butt, abdominals and feet. “Twerking is a workout. You will burn so many calories from twerking. It is also fun. You have fun doing it. I do not know one person who does not have fun twerking.”
When asked her favorite part of teaching students how to twerk, Mashupa replied, “I like teaching these classes because growing up I have struggled with loving my body and feeling good about myself when I danced at parties. I found twerking and twerking found me. I took classes back in Chicago and decided that I wanted to give twerking to others.” Twerking is not only a dance and a workout, it is a way of feeling empowered and gaining a positive body image while having fun.