Back in August, during the nationally televised Teen Choice Awards in Los Angeles, 1,945 people shook their rumps as hosts Lucy Hale and Darren Criss egged them on from the stage. “All right, guys! You know what time it is! It’s time to set our twerking world record!” Standing off to their side, wearing their trademark yellow blazers, were the cofounders of the world record-certifying website RecordSetter.com. According to their rules, participants were required “to shake their hips in an up and down bounce motion,” had to “listen to a hip hop beat for duration of attempt,” and had to “twerk in unison for at least five seconds.” The folks from RecordSetter.com were there, the hosts told the hopeful twerkers, to adjudicate and certify the world record.
“We were surprised to see Guinness recognize today’s twerking event as a world record,” says Dan Rollman, who cofounded the site in 2008. “While their category title was slightly different and rules varied slightly on performance style and length of dance time, the categories are, in essence, nearly identical.” He adds that while he has great admiration for Guinness, the 58-year-old organization that officiated Big Freedia’s event, he thinks calling Wednesday’s event “a legitimate world record” is inaccurate.