Twerk Villanelle

by Porsha Olayiwola

Photo by Carlie Febo

Writing Workshop

Workshop Title: Dance

Step 1

Have your students talk about their favorite kind of dance. Then have them discuss why.

Step 2

Read “Twerk Villanelle” by Porsha Olayiwola. Then discuss how she feels about that form of dancing and have them provide specific reasons to support tbeir response.

Step 3

Tell your students to take some time to pick one form of dance and write down everything they love about it, the wide variety of feelings that the dance elicits in them.

Step 4

Ask your students to write a poem in the same style of “Twerk Villanelle” in which they convey their deep appreciation and love toward a specific dance of their choice.

Step 5

When the students are done, have them share their responses with one another.

The full presentation may be found HERE.

Analytical Lesson

Area of Focus: Structure (Rhyme Scheme)

Step 1

If your students are not familiar with the concept of “rhyme scheme” and how it can contribute to a poem’s meaning, review the introductory lesson.

Step 2

Read “Twerk Villanelle” by Porsha Olayiwola. Then discuss the poet’s various feelings toward this form of dance.

Step 3

Have your students open the following document and go over the introduction and directions with them. For this assignment, they’re going to have to analyze the rhyme scheme of the poem by going through a series of tasks.

Step 4

When you’ve gone over the instructions, give your students time to work. They may work in groups if permitted.

Step 5

Have your students share the answers to the assignment. Then show them the exemplar essays so they can see if their responses are similar in scope.

Lesson Details

Lesson Info


  • Structure (Rhyme Scheme)


  • Appreciation
  • Body / Body Image
  • Community / Culture
  • Friendship
  • Joy
  • Love

Literary Tags

  • Diction
  • Figurative Language
  • Selection of Detail
  • Structure (Rhyme Scheme)