As a Guinness judge, sporting a jacket, tie and clipboard, looked on, the protagonist of the upcoming Fuse show Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce, premiering October 2, ass-embled 358 dancers, ranging in age from 8 to 80, to twerk for two minutes straight. A Guinness judge said a minimum of 250 people were needed to set the record, a number easily broken by the swelling crowd.
Asked about what the record would mean to her, Big Freedia told Fuse, “It would open a lot of doors and set history for bounce music and let the world know that we’ve been twerking for a long time. This is not new at all. Now it’s time to set the record.”
Yes, Big Freedia is now a sanctioned World Record holder.
With hundreds of onlookers, two paramedics and Big Freedia’s mom watching, Freedia performed her hit “Excuse” before introducing the GUINNESS WORLD RECORD judge, who explained the surprisingly elaborate rules:
1. Body must remain upright, with movement concentrated in hips
2. Participants can put hands on knees or hips for support
3. Twerking action cannot comes from knees – hips only
4. Freestyling or additional choreography not permitted – no hands on the ground, feet in the air, twirling, etc.
5. Twerking action must be synchronized, can be at own pace
6. All participants must twerk simultaneously for two minutes when Big Freedia gives the signal
7. Any performers who do not participate fully for the entire two minutes will be deducted from the final total
Rules established, the Queen of Bounce began the five-second countdown to begin the world record, raising her hands in the air after two minutes alongside the boisterous crowd. After the record was broken, with the house DJ continuing to spin dance music, a crowd formed around an elderly woman, who continued to twerk for five minutes to the increasing cheers of the crowd.
When we first linked with Freedia last year, the singer broke down bounce music. “It’s simple, uptempo, heavy bass, call and response type music, and it has a lot to do with a lot of a** shaking,” Freedia said. The expert in asses also helped rank her favorite celebrity booties earlier this year.
For better or worse, 2013 may go down as The Year of the Twerk in pop culture, as the dance reached critical mass, bolstered mainly by Miley Cyrus's admiration/appropriation of the dance (for the record, Freedia wants Miley to keep twerking, but to get it right next time). As our History of Twerking showed, the dance has been around for more than 20 years.
Freedia (not Big Freddy), it should be noted, slammed Cyrus's moves in an interview with Fuse last month, noting, "When something get hot, everybody want to jump on the bandwagon and act like they created it." Cyrus, to everyone's joy, tears and skepticism, recently told Rolling Stone that she would never twerk again.
But today was squarely on Freedia, who said even though she set a world record, it wouldn’t stop her from proselytizing the New Orleans dance.
“I plan on celebrating by spreading the gospel of bounce music and teaching people that it’s about having a good time and that anybody can do it."
Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce premieres October 2 at 11/10C