Lizzo Gives TED Talk About The History Of Twerking

Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images

A** is in session!

Singer-musician Lizzo recently gave a TED Talk –– better yet, a TED Twerk –– about the origins of twerking and its critical connection to Black culture.  

“My ass has been the topic of conversation, my ass has been in magazines, Rihanna gave my ass a standing ovation,” the Cuz I Love You singer says in a preview clip of her talk. “Yes, my booty. My least favorite part of my body. How did this happen? Twerking.”

The clip continues, “Through the movement of twerking I’ve discovered my ass is my greatest asset,” she said. “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TED Twerk.”

The singer-rapper gave the lesson on Tuesday (August 3) at the TEDMonterey “The Case for Optimism” conference that took place this week in California. According to The Huffington Post, Lizzo’s full talk is scheduled to be released sometime this fall. 

A description of her talk also says Lizzo connects twerking to its roots in West African dance styles and gives a history of twerking in Black culture. 

She also points out how society has a tendency to erase certain parts of Black culture. 

“Black people carry the origins of this dance through our DNA, through our blood, through our bones. We made twerking the global cultural phenomenon it has become today.”

She goes on: “I want to add to the classical etymology of this dance. Because it matters. From TikTok trends to songs and humor, we see so much erasure of what Black people have created.” 

“I’m not trying to gatekeep,” she said. “But I’m definitely trying to let you know who built the damn gate.” 

Lizzo, who teased a new song earlier this week, is a known twerker and multitasker, often doing the dance while playing the flute or enlisting celebrity friends like Megan Thee Stallion to do the twerking while she plays.

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