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It was the booty shake that shook us to the core. But while Miley Cyrus and her racy MTV Video Music Awards performance may have helped her sell a few more records, what it also did was bring a modern day form of dirty dancing into the homes of people everywhere.
Thanks to the graceful artistic interpretations of Cyrus, the word twerking was actually a top internet search Tuesday, two days after her performance.
Though twerking may be new to the lexicon of suburban moms, the dance – and the word used to describe it – has been around for two decades, around the same time Cyrus was a twerking twinkle in her father's eyes.
It all started with the bounce music scene in New Orleans, where the founding father of twerk, artist DJ Jubilee, released the dance song "Jubilee All" in 1993. The lyrics featured a now world famous call to action: "twerk baby, twerk baby, twerk twerk twerk baby, twerk baby, twerk twerk twerk.”
What happened in The Big Easy, didn't stay in The Big Easy. Ten years later, Atlanta rappers like the Ying Yang Twins and Lil Jon hopped on the twerk bandwagon. They used the word in their songs "Whistle While You Twurk," which shot to number one on the Billboard charts in 2000, and "Get Low," which peaked at number two in 2003.
It's been used in countless other hip hop songs ever since.
Miley Cyrus didn't become the poster child for twerking until earlier this year, when she started tweeting out videos of herself doing the dance.