HomeLiving Out LoudTwerking : To Twerk or Not to Twerk

Twerking : To Twerk or Not to Twerk

Should a 48-Year-Old Woman Take Twerking Classes?

(I did!)

Definition of twerking noun (via

twerk·ing | \ ˈtwər-kiŋ \ : sexually suggestive dancing characterized by rapid, repeated hip thrusts and shaking of the buttocks especially while squatting.

The First Time I Twerked

To twerk or not to twerk, that is the question!  Should a mature woman of 48 years old be twerking? The question should really be, should I twerk again? I had done it before after all.

The first time I came out of the shadows and into the light of day to twerk in front of others happened on a Friday evening in January two years ago. I, along with two of my 40-something-year-old girlfriends, signed up for a 90-minute foundational Twerk 101 class led by professional dancer and choreographer, Simone Sobers.

Simone hails from Miami and is the founder of The Boss Chick Dance Workout. She has turned her passion for twerking, dance, and fitness into a booming business that allows her to travel the world leading a twerkolution (I just made that term up). That first class was hard, but we had such a good time.  

We learned many signature moves and we, along with the other ladies in the class, attempted to put those moves, in unison, in a choreographed routine at the end of our 90-minutes together. I worked with maximum effort that first class and had a ball while doing so. My former notions about twerking were soon put to rest. I assumed it would come easily to me given I am blessed with certain physical attributes (thick thighs and junk in the trunk) that I assumed were vital, and would serve me well in twerking successfully. Well, I learned pretty early, twerking ain’t easy no matter your body type, but it brings much joy.

I worked up a sweat as I engaged my glutes, quads and other body parts that I can’t name without looking at one of those photos of a skeleton that you find in your doctor’s office. At the conclusion of class, my friends and I were sweaty messes, and quite tired; but it was that good kind of tired.  We high fived and went our separate ways.

When I arrived home, I immediately jumped in the shower, popped a couple of Ibuprofen and fell asleep atop my covers.

twerking classes, twerking

Twerking Classes & The Great Seattle Snowpocalypse

In January of this year, a notice for another opportunity to get my twerk on arrived in my email inbox. I contacted the friends that had attended the class with me previously, and also extended an invite to my bestie. This time there were several twerking classes being offered under the Twerk Fitness Mini-Festival Banner.

Twerk 101 was offered again, as well as Twerk Cardio and Twerkography. We signed up for the latter two twerking classes and were once again looking forward to assessing our stamina and working some muscles we had forgotten, or perhaps, didn’t even know existed

The February date for two hours of twerking was approaching, as was Seattle’s Snowpocalypse. The city was hit with Chicago-type level snowfall, icy streets, power outages, and grocery store shelves were left barren in preparation for the storm. Consequently, the Twerk Mini-Festival was postponed. It took place this past weekend, again at the Century Ballroom.  

Twerking Classes

Twerking Solo

Unfortunately, my posse was unable to attend the new date, due to family obligations and illness. This left me now asking myself, “Do I dare to twerk alone?” Without hesitation, the answer was yes. I had paid my entrance fee and was ready to give twerking classes another go!

I arrived at the venue and stood in the hallway outside of the ballroom with a few other ladies who were also waiting to enter. As we waited patiently we heard the late 90’s hip hop song by Juvenile, entitled “Back That Ass Up” blaring through the closed doors along with cheers and squeals coming from the participants. I then heard someone say, “Hi Dede!” and discovered it was Nikia, a woman with whom I used to work with many years ago.  

We hugged hello and began to catch up on life. I learned that this was Nikia’s first time attending such a class. She said she had mistakenly signed up for the same two twerking classes I was taking. I told her she was in for a challenging treat. It was good to see Nikia, who like me, was at the class alone, but now at least, we had each other.

The doors soon opened, and I immediately saw Simone standing on a platform with her big hair, an equally big smile, and a cute camouflage Boss Chick T-shirt. She was swiping credit cards for those wishing to purchase some Boss Chick gear of their own, while simultaneously greeting us newcomers with that big smile and a gentle request to stand nearby so she could check us in.  

Simone handled the many people with grace and ease, and before too long she asked us if we were ready to get started. Her question was answered with claps and cheers.

Standing in front of the mirrored walls, Simone introduced herself. She shared how long she’d been in the twerk business, a bit about her dancing background, oh…and that she was three months pregnant! This news was met with delight, expressions of good wishes, and hand claps from me and the 35, or so, other women in the class.  

I’m not going to lie, I also had a sense of relief and hope. Hope that perhaps I would be able to keep up a little better with the expectant mom this time around. The lady has a human being growing inside of her for goodness sake! And still, this didn’t douse her infectious enthusiasm, twerking precision, and seemingly unyielding energy.

Twerking classes

Twerking Like a Boss

This women-only class was wonderful for a lot of reasons. Some of those reasons are that it included women of all ages, ethnicities, body shapes and sizes; and various levels of endurance, strength, and dance competency skills.

Those confident in their ability to remember and execute the steps were near the front. I chose a spot in the middle because I needed to be close enough to hear and see Simone clearly so I could increase my efforts to master the moves to the best of my ability. My proximity to the front had nothing to do with my ability to remember or execute the steps. But, if enthusiasm were a gauge, I definitely would have chosen a spot closer to the front.  

Funny enough, at some point or another, all of us were at the front of the class as our formations shifted.

The classes were set to the sounds of Afrobeats, Dancehall, and Hip-Hop music. The room was alive with laughter and women hard at work seeking to find their inner Beyonce and sometimes, just a reassuring glance from a fellow participant that we were doing just fine.

I know I was quite proud of myself when I was able to grasp and execute a combination. At no point was I able to master the full choreography, and it didn’t much matter. All of the participants appeared happy to be in a room full of other women working toward a common goal. They were from all walks of life, and we had come together to celebrate our womanhood, support each other wherever we fell on the Beyonce scale, and to get in some exercise in a fun, non-judgmental environment.

The answer to the question initially posed (Should a woman of 48-years old twerk?) is a resounding yes!  

Women of all ages should definitely try a twerk fitness class at least once in their lives. And they should do so with enthusiasm and full effort while throwing caution to the wind. I guarantee you will leave with a new appreciation for the art of twerking. It’s much more than just shaking your booty, but if you don’t get it quite right initially, shaking your booty is a good place to start.

Living Out Loud is a column hosted by avid hiker and solo traveler Dede Johnson who shares her observations, reflections, experiences and lessons learned with readers—as well as her tips on how to live with gratitude, humor, compassion, and curiosity. Find out More about Dede at Insta @dedeshikinglife


Please follow and like us:
Annette Benedetti
Annette Benedetti
Annette is a writer, editor and photographer from Portland, OR. Her work appears in a variety of publications including Bust, Red Tricycle, Motherly and Domino. When she’s away from her desk she can be found teaching women yoga at wilderness retreats, exploring new cities across the states and hiking the trails at Mt. Rainier—one of her favorite places on earth.