Twerking vs. Whining, As Told By Rihanna

You guys will probably think I have too much time on my hands after this read. In which, I do.

It’s been a few weeks since Rihanna dropped “Work” and a week since the glorious seven minutes and 34-second music video by Director X  and Tim Erem broke the internet.

With “Work” topping the Billboard charts, getting massive radio play, and constantly trending on social media, there is no denying that the track is one of the best releases of the year so far.

It’s one of those tracks where, once you hear the beginning of that ten-second intro, your ass immediately gets up anticipating the bad gyal’s demand for you to “work.”

But anyways, back to the point.

While reading the never-ending comments on YouTube, I noticed many netizens – or maybe even you too, rather – call “whining,” “twerking.”

However, for those of you who do not know, there IS a difference. And, excuse my language, the difference is all in the way your ass moves. And your hips too, of course.

Let’s take Rihanna’s “Pour It Up” music video, for example.

Closely deriving from the French region of Africa, Mental Floss says,

“The movements involved in twerking show similarities to several traditional West African dances, most notably mapouka, hailing from the Cote d’Ivoire. Known colloquially as ‘la dance du fessier,’ or ‘dance of the behind,’ mapouka is said to exist in two forms: A tamer, more traditional dance performed ceremonially, and the newer, more scandalous version popular with young Ivoirians.”

As you can tell from 1:04, modern day has taken the latter. Especially in western pop culture where it’s been highly exposed in hip-hop, reggae/dancehall and moombahton.

Yaaaas, Riri.

In other words, twerking is pretty much your ass having a life of its own.
(If you want a better look, just watch Diplo’s “Express Yourself.” R.I.P, Nicky Da B.)

Now, on to whining. Let’s throw it back to young Riri with “Pon de Replay.”

In a post by SpiceIslander, the hip-swaying dance gets its roots from the islands of the Carribean:

“Whine is defined by a Caribbean dance expert as the thrusting or rotating of the pelvic girdle in a rhythmic pattern.

In the context of Caribbean culture, whine is a genuine regional dance form.

Unlike other genre of music that inspires the feet – such as “salsa’’, “kweyol’’ and “tango’’ – the dancing of soca music inspires the rhythmic movement of the waistline, more than any other body part.

Take whining as a graceful or aggressive gyration of the buttocks. Unlike twerking, whining relies more on the waist giving off a fluid movement.

You see what I’m saying?

Closely tying to the act of grinding, from what I’ve seen, the dance has a stronger rhythmic connection whether dancing with a partner or not.

Also, you can even incorporate a bodyroll into it if you’d like.

Hopefully, by now, you get a gist of the differences between the two. The combination of both can be seen throughout the first half of “Work.”

And if you know how to do both dances and combine them all in one go, then Lawd bless you. You must be one gifted son of a gun because you might just be as bad as Riri.

Lawd have mercy on ya, Riri. #blessed

And just to clarify, I am no expert in dancing nor am I a professional dancer. I just know that when “Work” comes on, I’m lit like this guy.


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