Black women find numerous ways to get through trauma in their lives, and that list now including twerking. The dance craze should be considered a feminist movement, Kelechi Okafor, an actress and twerk instructor in South London said recently.
Okafor looks at twerking as a movement that empowers women and helps them to keep in touch with their cultures, not hypersexualizing them. Here’s why this instructor is putting work into the twerk.
Feminist Movement: The Twerk Edition
If you are ever in South London and feel like getting your twerk on, then look no further that Okafor’s “twerkshops.” Her classes are designed specifically for women, from all walks of life, who want to use twerking to heal through some sort of pain or hardship. Twerking as an offered dance course is beneficial in many ways, the instructor, who uses the dance style to overcome the pain of childhood sexual abuse, said.
“Dance, it’s a channel that you can use to express so much: joy, pain, sadness, you can express so much through it so I started to use that as a way of really communicating the things I felt there were really no words for,” Okafor, who is also a director, said in a BBC video.
It’s interesting to examine the history of twerking, a movement that started in West Africa. As a cultural product of African society, twerking in a normal thing, as opposed to the U.S. where it is becoming a new normal way to dance in the clubs. Twerking is routinely used as a tool for cultural expression at funerals, weddings and other big events.
Women find power in controlling their bodies in certain ways, and they find liberation in that act, Okafor noted. Dance should be taught as a “vehicle to heal oneself,” she said.
Reactions: The Twitter Edition
A whole lot of people are on board Okafor’s twerk train. The reactions are largely positive to the dance instructor’s “twerkshops,” with many women having already tried or want to try her particular brand of healing. Check out the tweets: