Lizzo Did A Ted Talk On The Origins Of Twerking & Here’s What You Can Learn From It

Lizzo's twerking skills are unparalleled, and so was her recent speech schooling everyone on the dance move's history and Black culture.
The 33-year-old delivered a TED Talk, or rather a "TED Twerk", on Tuesday at the TEDMonterey 'The Case for Optimism' conference, in Monterey, California. While on stage, she spoke about twerking's roots tracing back to the West African dance called mapouka, and the danger of twerking being appropriated and misunderstood. She also explained how the "movement of twerking" helped her realise her "greatest asset".
"My ass has been the topic of conversation, my ass has been in magazines, Rihanna gave my ass a standing ovation," she said in a preview clip. "Yes, my booty. My least favourite part of my body. How did this happen? Twerking," she said.
“Through the movement of twerking I’ve discovered my ass is my greatest asset,” she added. “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TED Twerk.”
The singer then spoke about the historical and cultural significance of twerking, which many people may not be aware of as they imitate the move on TikTok and Instagram.
"Black people carry the origins of this dance through our DNA, through our blood, through our bones," she said. "We made twerking the global cultural phenomenon it has become today."
As the dance trend continues to be a craze on social media and in pop culture, the musician emphasised the importance of people remembering where it came from.
"I want to add to the classical etymology of this dance. Because it matters," she said. "From TikTok trends to songs and humour, we see so much erasure of what Black people have created.
"I’m not trying to gatekeep. But I’m definitely trying to let you know who built the damn gate."
Shirlaine Forrest/WireImage
If you take one look at Lizzo's Instagram, you'll know how much she loves sharing her joy for twerking. Remember when she just casually twerked away against a glorious sunset backdrop on holiday in Mexico? Or when she used the dance to hit back at a landlord who kicked her out of a seven-day rental three days early?
With her first new song in two years, titled Rumors, dropping on August 13, we can only suspect there will be fresh twerking content coming our way to celebrate the release.
And while we could talk about our love for Lizzo's twerking all day, one thing we should all do next time we whip out the dance move, is to remember where it came from and what it means to the Black community.

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