To twerk or not to twerk?

Miley Cyrus's twerking with Robin Thicke at last year's MTV Video Music Awards has spawned plenty of humorous takes on the dance floor(AP)

That is the question, or at least one of the top ten most asked by Google users last year according to a report released by the search engine.

If you're not one of the few million who asked, twerking is a hip-shaking dance often performed provocatively against another person and made famous by Miley Cyrus.

She caused controversy throughout the latter part of 2013 with her near-naked antics on stage and inappropriate dancing during various performances.

Twerking, however, seems to have caught on – albeit in a humorous manner for most - and a quick search on YouTube reveals a plethora of interesting attempts at imitating Miley's moves.

The number of injuries and amount of contention that twerking seems to have caused indicates that it probably isn't the best dance to pull out at any parties you have this year, so we've compiled a list of alternatives to keep you moving safely on the dance floor in 2014 without causing yourself internal bleeding or motion sickness.

1. The Mime: otherwise known as the Mr Brightside, as the Killers' song offers excellent opportunity to act out every lyric. Extra points for creativity, imagination and use of homonyms.
2. The Matador: while salsa may be some people's idea of a traditional Spanish dance, don't let this stop you from exploring your creativity. Other options include re-enacting a scene from a bull fight: performed best as a pair, get a friend to act as a flag waving matador while you charge around as 'the bull'. Props optional.
3. The Carlton: self explanatory, combine with the Fresh Prince sidekick's sheer, ridiculous enthusiasm.
4. The Routine: the time has come to bring back those moves copied directly from pop band music videos of the past. Less suggestive, more sociable, and altogether safer than twerking.
5. The Crab: a friend's son introduced me to this one, which, as the name suggests, involves a lot of sideways movement and some enthusiastic hand actions. A crowd pleaser, though perhaps only if you're five-years-old.

So there you have it, some alternatives to twerking. Now there's no excuse to be a wallflower or turn up to the next party with your own wrecking ball in tow.

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