Jerkin’ has been growing in popularity in the last few years. Despite the growing interest, the origins of the dance are unclear. It was approximately 2008 when the Jerk culture begun. Since Jerkin comes out of the suburbs of Los Angeles we know the dances that preceded were Clowning and Krumping. Members of Jerkin’ dance crews started out as clowns and krumpers but adapted their style and created their own take on footwork (a street dance style from Chicago). Their adaptation of footwork became known as the “reject.” Reject is one of the signature dance moves of Jerkin.
In 2009 the song “You’re a Jerk” came out by New Boyz. This song became very popular and helped spread the word about the new dance movement, Jerkin’.
The jerkin’ dance crew Ranger$ is one of the hottest jerkin’ crews out of Los Angeles. They are famous for their homemade videos posted to myspace and youtube that were filmed in casual places such as the Taco Bell parking lot. They produce their own music and have signed to Nick Cannon’s label, Ncredible. Their first album, Jerkin’ is a Habit: Volume I, has increased the popularity and production of Jerk music. The group was originally made up of five members: Spotlight, Julian, Langston, Day Day, and Corey. Corey left the group in 2011 leaving the Ranger$ with only 4 members.
The dance crew known as Action Figure$ was created by Gary in 2009. The group is from South Central Los Angeles and they started out by posting videos on youtube. As their popularity increased the group started making music and planning parties in addition to dancing. They now have quite a few sponsors including Vlado footware, TISA, and Rockin Skinnies.
Reject – a backwards version of the “running man” – a popular 80’s dance move
Pindrop – dropping down to the ground while balancing on one leg with the other leg tucked behind the opposite knee.
Jerkin music is typically produced in home studios using personal computers and software such as Reason and FL Studio. The beats are basic as well as the process.
The style is skinny jeans, kool-aid colored hair, bleached flattops, fro hawks, chromatic tees, and thick soled skateboard shoes.
“Jerkin’ Can’t Die.” There is a movement that is trying to keep Jerkin’ alive. I believe with a combination of dance crew’s do-it-yourself videos, self promotion, making music, and entrepreneurship we will see Jerkin’ around for a few more years.
Just like with any dance, dancers will adapt to the new styles and trends and create their own flare. I see any type of street dance as a platform for innovation and new ideas. Even though each dance is rooted and influenced by dances that came before there will always be new styles that come about.
Jerkin’ was the newest dance that I chose to look into so I think it is hard to predict the future. However, Jerkin’ has something that other street dances that came before did not have. Jerkin has not just dancing but music producers and fashion. Dance crews are getting sponsors and turning themselves into small businesses that sell fashion products and music through their dance.