Bench pressing empty kegs and incorporating veggies into ramen are great ways to stay healthy, but if you really wanna work your bod you’ll go to a TwerkShop. Oh yes, they’re real, and I found they'll kick your ass just about as fast as you can shake it.

Bench pressing empty kegs and incorporating veggies into ramen are great ways to stay healthy, but if you really wanna work your bod you’ll go to a TwerkShop. Oh yes, they’re real, and I found out they'll kick your ass just about as fast as you can shake it.

“There’s twerking classes you can go to,” I said while discussing ideas for the Health and Fitness issue. It was too sexy of an idea to pass up, but I'd hoped someone else would take the bait. Girls shaking their asses as exercise? Come on now, that’s right up our alley. 

“Awesome, go take the class and report back.” Our editor said as Ibby giggled at the end of the table.

Shit, I’d done it again; Freudian Slips almost always cause me to venture far out of my comfort zone. 

First of all, I have no business taking a twerking class. I was once politely asked to head back to the bar by a line dance instructor, who’s class I was attending for FREE in a hillbilly watering hole. I’m the girl at the club that awkwardly pulls out the funky chicken because I’ve never really learned what to do with my arms – which is probably why line dancing seemed like a sure thing.  And don’t even try to get me on the dance floor without liquoring me up a bit first. I prefer to look like a sloppy drunk instead of another white girl with no rhythm.

But bubbling underneath the terror at the surface, was a desire to have someone show me how to shake dat ass. The first time I saw twerking, my jaw dropped to the floor. If this class could teach me a sliver of that, I’d be the happiest girl in the world – and I’d wager my man-friend would be pretty stoked too.

To calm my conflicting emotions, I called the studio to get a better idea of what was going to go down.  The instructor seemed nice enough. She told me I was going to have a great time. That it was like a hip-hop dance class but with a whole lot more laughing and ass shaking. She also said I’d spend the better part of an hour in squat position. Great…

So here we go, I can’t dance and have never done more than five squats before. All I could do was pray I didn’t pass out.

Finally at 9 pm it was time to get down to business. I showed up to the studio and took my place in the back, far enough away from the mirrors that I wouldn’t be able to see myself jiggle. The other women started filing in. Most of them were fit and filled out their booty shorts spectacularly. Some were skinny and had no ass whatsoever. Some were so much woman that I was unsure their shorts would make it. And one wore a Tweety Bird mu-mu. Awesome, I thought, I’m not going to be the weirdest one here.

As I was stretching my legs – in a futile attempt to look like I had any idea what I was doing – Marquette, the instructor, walked in, looked around and whipped off her tank top. 

“Alright ladies, are you ready to twerk it?” and like that, she started class. I don’t know if I was expecting some deep breathing or maybe a drum circle but there will be none of that in this purple room. Oh no, we were here to work it and I probably shouldn’t have put down an entire order of bourbon chicken a few hours ago…

We stretched out our necks, leaned back and did a rock-away to engage our abdominal muscles. I could do this, I thought. I already feel like a dancer. Look at me rolling my body like I’m getting paid as Marquette counts to eight. This won’t be that bad.

“Here we go, get ready to drop it low.” Her legs popped into position and she lowered herself to the ground. The women in front of me enthusiastically followed suit. We were still warming up though. After three minutes of slamming my shoulders side to side like one-winged moth, trying desperately to keep up with the group, butts started shaking. Slowly and painfully at first, but once my brain disconnected with my quads and told them we’d be here for a while, it was on.

And fuck yea did my ass shake. I felt like I was on top of the world. I could feel my cheeks slapping in tune with the bass while the rest of my body was firmly planted, just like everyone else’s. I finally knew exactly what I was going to do next time Sir Mix-a-Lot rained down from the speakers, and I couldn’t wait. I saw the crowd at the club form a circle around me and could hear them chanting my name as I broke it down.

“Get it girls, yea! Now lunge.” My delusion cut short by a change in position. I almost forgot we were working out as we lunged to either side without missing a booty poppin’ beat.  Sweat began to stream down my face, I could feel it trickle down my back and watched it bead on my legs that were straining to stay upright. My breathing was erratic. I’d only been doing this for 10 minutes. We still had 50 to go.

It was about this time, when I was close to dropping to the ground in a sweaty, crumpled heap, that we got down on the floor. Thank sweet baby Yeezus, it was time for a break.

Nope, it was time to twerk in plank. We got in the most dreaded of all core exercises and continued to pop, grind and roll our asses to add to the abdominal assault. But, I was actually having fun.

Did you know you can twerk while on all a fours? Did you know that even a tall, chubby girl who’s never met a cheeseburger or beer she didn’t love could gleefully, and semi-successfully, hop one-legged across the studio floor while shaking what her mother gave her? Well she can, and if the post-partum Tweety-Bird lady can twerk circles around me, you can do it too.

Once we were finished “warming up,” as everyone affectionately referred to it as, it was time to move onto the dancing portion of the class. We took a water break and one of the really good girls, looked back at me and assured me I was doing a good job. She actually sounded genuine, which had to have been hard because I looked like a drenched Pomeranian, and was panting like one too.

“Here comes the fun part.” She said, and she turned around as Marquette starting demonstrating the choreography we were about to perform. It was a welcome break from the non-stop squatting and thrusting, but this portion of the class was on a level my jiggling booty had never been to before.

I’m not a dancer, and I’ve smoked too much weed in my life to have any sort of short-term memory. This means that watching me perform a choreographed dance from start to finish is kind of like watching a monkey fuck a football. I’m trying really hard, but I just don't get anywhere.

I’m not gonna lie, the dance was hot.  It incorporated all the moves we’d just done but they were slower, and I had dried off a little bit. When we did them in their little increments, I felt so sexy. I couldn’t wait to get back to the man-friend to show him what I’d been able to accomplish with this ass of mine. But, when we strung them all together shit got really, really sloppy. There was even a little story that went along with it that seemed to help the other girls remember where they were at, and where to swing their booty next. But this type of thinking was just too much for my bedraggled body to handle.

I stumbled along, and really did try to do the whole thing without turning the wrong way, or moving the wrong cheek, but in the end I was a beat behind everyone else, with a goofy smile on my face. As ashamed as I was of my ineptitude, nobody else seemed to notice. They were all working on them, and laughing at themselves. They didn’t care to judge me, so why was I judging me?

When we all came together to give the routine one last go before we all hobbled into the night on our spent legs, I gave it my all. It wasn’t pretty, but I was damn proud. My lavender tank top was now a glistening indigo, and I'd actually made my booty clap on purpose. That was the hardest workout I'd ever done, and it made me feel more like a woman than putting on a bra ever had. I couldn't wait to get home to show my man this new woman.

When I finally returned to my humble abode, the man was sleeping on the couch. He woke to my rotund posterior bouncing in his face.

“What the fuck are you doing?”

Still running off adrenaline and my new-found femininity, I dropped it low and said, “Look what I can do.”  He chuckled a little as I collapsed onto the floor.

“Impressive, you should probably go take a shower. You look like a wet dog.”

The next day, my first thought was pancakes, but my thighs, calves, abs and ass were so sore that the only way I was getting up was for something good, and pancakes did not fit that bill. Plus I felt svelt, empowered and impressed that I’d shaken my ass with such purpose last night that eating pancakes was probably a bad idea.  I stayed paralyzed in bed thinking about what I’d tell my editor about my visit to the TwerkShop.

The class was fun, I’d never grunted, jiggled, laughed and pushed myself that hard ever before. It was so strange to think you could get an effective workout from shaking your ass, and that dancing like a girl in a music video would actually make me feel good about myself. 

That’s what I would tell him: every woman should try twerk it at least once. Not to impress their men, but to impress themselves. They should do it to laugh and have fun working out instead of being crushed under the weight of a leg press, but most of all they should do it because it can make them feel awesome about their jiggly butts and bold enough to shake it whenever they want…

“Babe,” the man was stirring, “I think I’m ready for you to show me what you learned last night. Wanna try that dropping-it-low thing again?”

Now that was something worth getting out of bed for, even if it was for just a couple of minutes.