Roses are red; violets aren’t blue; we all can twerk; but now you
When you think about floor bonding, your go-to ideas are sort of
basic, right? Movie nights are overdone. Game nights get too chaotic
and can’t accommodate the mass of players. Cooking nights are a fire
hazard waiting to happen, so “what’s left?” you ask: a floor wide
Twerking 101 class.
Now, I know this sounds kind of crazy but the second floor of Poplar
Hall had this ingenious idea as a way to enjoy a Friday night inside
the residence hall instead of a night out partying with their peers.
When some of the girls discovered their floormates couldn’t twerk,
they immediately came to the rescue and put together a PJ party with
Before I go into details of Twerking 101, let’s talk some
demographics. The second floor of Poplar Hall houses a special co-ed
population of students who are enrolled in the Student Support
Services Program (SSS). SSS is designed to significantly increase
the retention and graduation rates of its participants through
effective academic and personal support for a diverse student
population. The residents that are part of the SSS program are under
the guidance of three live-in mentors (one for each pod on the
floor) and three Resident Assistants (RA’s).
SSS residents spend nearly every waking moment with one another
which has allowed them to tightly bond since day one of their
Summer-B semester (June 17th). They have spent late nights
completing required modules together, helping each other with their
classes, and doing some of the “typical” bonding I listed above into
the wee hours of the night. Their latest form of bonding, however,
is something their RA’s and mentors should be proud of.
Twerking 101 was primarily for the females on the floor (who make up
nearly two of the three pods) but males were welcomed to join in on
the fun if they were around. The impromptu dance night was organized
by the residents who knew how to twerk and was instructed by one of
the SSS mentors, Khalil Wilson who took it upon himself to educate
the girls who needed help in this advanced form of dance.
The night kicked off with the basic fundamentals of twerking and
eventually escalated to the girls forming small groups and
performing competition-styled numbers they all helped to
choreograph. There were three judges (which consisted of two RA’s
and Khalil) who ranked the performances and awarded one group the
“winners” for best choreography. As the night continued to unfold,
more and more girls joined in and you could really see their
confidence blossom and their friendships growing even tighter.
Now, I know twerking might not be the most conventional form of
residential bonding but from an outside perspective it was inspiring
to see these residents taking their experiences into their own hands
for the good.
Women supporting women is always something to be celebrated and
Twerking 101 allowed the women of the SSS program to wholeheartedly
support one another. When the more experienced girls noticed their
inexperienced sisters struggling, they rushed over to help them with
an encouraging attitude and words of praise when they got the hang
of it. Nobody felt excluded based on their experience level and you
could see some of the residents coming out of their shell as they
realized they were surrounded by love. Over the month of June the
SSS residents have truly formed unbreakable bonds and Twerking 101
highlights the culmination of their efforts which is why it deserves
to be the Spotlight OTM.
Word Count: 600