Personal trainer/Twerk instructor Kelechi Okafor was in for a rude awakening when she offered her services to a local gym and was turned down.
The U.K.-based fitness pro was rudely rejected by a white-owned gym because its management believed her twerking style was just not on their level.
As Okafor told BlackGirlLongHair.com, dance has always been part of her life. When she found out that not everyone can move the way she does, she set out on a mission to show them how it’s done.
“I’ve been teaching dance for around three years,” Okafor explained. “I’ve been a Personal Trainer for longer and it made sense to bring the two together to empower women but most especially WoC.”
Twerking isn’t something new. It’s been part of the Black community for decades, but has only recently gone mainstream. And, as tends to happen with mainstream things, people have found ways to capitalize on it.
When it comes to twerking, plenty of gyms have started holding classes. Okafor found a gym offering one such class, and she thought this might be the perfect opportunity for her to bring the people an authentic experience.
“For me, twerking is an act of resistance,” she stated. “I teach twerk because I refuse to have this art form whitewashed.”
Unfortunately, Bodybarre was not feeling her style and one employee even called her moves “basic.” Mind you, their idea of real twerking is more than a little bit skewed.
For reference, Okafor posted the following video to her Twitter timeline.
If that’s what Bodybarre calls “basic” we’ll take it! She also posted a video from the gym’s advanced class, and the masses found it lacking. In fact, tons of people dragged the instructor in the clip, which has mysteriously been yanked from YouTube. It seems as if the gym couldn’t withstand the onslaught of “haters” flaming the video. Management indirectly implied that it feels the detractors may have been some of her supporters.
While Okafor didn’t outright call Bodybarre’s management racist, she couldn’t help feeling marginalized and erased in a dance genre pioneered by Black women.