Why Is My Daughter Twerking?

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I really need your help. Have you heard of "Twerking?" My daughter had a sleepover, and she and all of her friends were Twerking.

I was appalled. Where in the world have I been and when did my daughter learn to dance like this? You would think she did not have parents or any home training at all.

My daughter is a senior in high school and is on track to graduate with honors. Now, it's like she has been hiding something dark from me and her father.

Is this the daughter that we are putting on a pedestal and bragging that she has a scholarship to the University of North Carolina?

I don't have much time before she will be away from me and her father. We are supposed to get orders this year for Germany. She will be in North Carolina without her parents to guide her.

Ms. Vicki, this has me very nervous because I don't want my daughter to get taken advantage of by boys on campus. She doesn't understand about perception. If guys see you as easy, they will take advantage of that.

I had a good conversation about this with my daughter, and she showed me videos of the Twerk on YouTube. I almost screamed looking at all of this grinding and booty shaking, even by small children.

I'm only 45, but I feel like I've been asleep the last 20 years. Where did all of this stuff come from? What happened to good, clean music and clean dancing? This dancing looks quite painful -- like it could cause bodily injuries or something.

Am I blowing this out of proportion?

Sincerely, 45 and Out of Style

Dear 45,

Yes, I've heard of the Twerk and seen this dance on music videos. It requires a lot of skill and mobility, LOL.

So, now you know your daughter is a dirty dancer. She's a senior in high school and is about to go to college far away from you. She will be on her own, and she won't have her parents looking over her shoulder to tell her what to do, who to date, when to come home and why she shouldn't Twerk.

This must be nervewracking and stressful for you -- especially when you know you will be so far away.

Let me confess something to make you feel better: When I was younger, my best friend and I were double dating in my living room, and my mother caught us "slow dancing" with our boyfriends to Prince's "Purple Rain."

I thought my mother had lost her mind. I got lectures and speeches from everyone in my family. My close neighbors and my church prayed for me too.

We didn't do the Twerk, but something tells me that if you and I were teenagers, we might be Twerkers too. It's an over-the-top dance for me, but obviously a lot of people are doing it or trying to learn, considering the number of views the videos get.

My mother didn't understand Prince either, but she talked to me about how my actions could lead to something that I may not be ready for. She also talked to me about perception and how I wanted to be viewed by men.

I understood her then, even though I was embarrassed and angry that she interrupted me and my friends. I understood even more as I grew older, and I appreciated her for what she did.

Your daughter will appreciate you too. It sounds like your daughter has a lot of good things in her favor. She is graduating with honors, and she has already been accepted on a scholarship to UNC.

Keep talking to her and supporting her. Let her know she has great things in her future, but she will have to be committed and focused.

Sincerely, Ms. Vicki

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