Russian girls' 'twerking bees' video sparks criminal investigation at dance school

The video, appearing to show dancers in their early teens, has sparked outrage

Lizzie Dearden
Wednesday 15 April 2015 10:10 BST
“Bees and Winnie the Pooh” was performed at the Credo school in Orenburg
“Bees and Winnie the Pooh” was performed at the Credo school in Orenburg

A criminal probe has been launched into a Russian dance school after a video of female students “twerking” in a raunchy Winnie the Pooh-inspired routine provoked outrage.

The Credo school, in the south-western city of Orenburg, was temporarily shut down by local authorities after the clip went viral, being viewed more than eight million times in just three days.

Called “Bees and Winnie the Pooh”, the routine starts with a dancer in a bear suit wistfully shaking his head at an empty pot of honey as gentle flute music plays.

The routine started with 'Winnie the Pooh' losing his honey

The music then switches to dubstep and a swarm of female “bees” appears on the stage wearing striped leotards with short miniskirts and long black socks.

They then “twerk” in various positions with their backs to the audience, at one point ripping the miniskirts off, before “Winnie” re-appears.

The video finishes as the bear talks over nursery-style music while the dancers lie in front of him, twerking on the floor.

The girls eventually ripped their skirts off and twerked wearing just leotards and socks

The video was uploaded to YouTube on Sunday but had been filmed in January as a coursework performance, Russia Today reported.

Modern dance is a speciality of the school, which is housed in a local community centre.

As the video spread on social media, many Russian viewers expressed horror at the apparently young age of the dancers and demanded that the school be investigated.

Others defended the performance as a reflection of current dance trends, with twerking made famous in performances by artists including Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus.

Miley Cyrus 'twerks' at the MTV awards with Robin Thicke in 2013

As the debate continued on Tuesday, the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation initiated a pre-investigation probe into the performance to provide the “legal evaluation of the actions of the owners and the controlling entity of this dancing school,” state news agency RIA Novosti reported.

Orenburg city authorities have also formed a special committee of arts and culture officials to inspect all children’s dance groups in the region for anything deemed inappropriate.

The regional investigative committee has reportedly opened a criminal investigation into allegations of “negligence and indecent exposure” and the Russian Ombudsman for Children’s Affairs is involved.

Some people seemed to take additional offence to the fact that children's character Winnie the Pooh was the inspiration for the routine

Spokesperson Pavel Astakhov called the dance “vulgar and insulting”.

An emergency meeting was also held with the head of Credo school, officials and the girls’ parents to look into how the performance was put together, Russia Today reported.

Management told investigators that they started teaching twerking late last year at the request of students but stopped the classes in February.

The mayor of Orenburg, Yevgeny Arapov, appealed to parents to sign their children up for more “respectable” and patriotic dances.

“We have respectable ethnic dances...they are the ones that need to be taught,” he wrote on his website, according to a translation by AFP.

“We live on this land and we need to dance our national dances.”

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