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TURF is an acronym for Taking Up Room on the Floor as created by influential Turf dancer, Jeriel Bey and is a form of dance that originated at house parties and the inner city streets of Oakland, California. Originally known as “Hittin’ It”, TURF dancing is an evolution and fusion of various funk style dance forms such as gliding, waving, popping, and boogaloo.

During the 90s, a resurgence of interest in the aforementioned styles was revisited, merged, and remixed. Compared with its influences, TURF dancing became more of a free flowing art form that rarely followed a set of defined rules. Talented Turfers would be willing to perform to any kind of music and generally do not mind whether the music is fast or slow. The dance’s guiding principles are heavily rooted in creating original style, illusions, and storytelling.

There is heavy emphasis on gliding in TURF dancing since footwork plays a major part in creating illusions. Additionally, TURF dancing contains a very small collection of foundational movements or steps. This is because the dance form is heavily dictated by personal style. However, there are some dance moves that are classified or defined by a Turfer’s original creation or in some cases, its area of origin. An example of this is a dance move called the Brookfield. It’s origins are from a neighborhood in east Oakland called Brookfield and involves gliding forward and backwards, first fast and then slow.

TURF dancing existed before the emergence of the Hyphy Lifestyle (The Gents & Demons of the Mind), and was widely adopted in Oakland, California throughout the 90s. Scandalous Type Individuals a.k.a. S.T.I., is often credited for the spread of HITTIN IT throughout California. However, it was Jeriel Bey aka Wally Sparkz who gave it the name TURF Dancing. TURF dancing served as the driving force behind the Hyphy Movement and stage show for legendary Artist E-40 who hired choreographer Jeriel Bey to assist in promoting the Bay Area Dance culture across the country. His organization "The Architeckz" promoted the new dancing term for bay area freestyle dancers as TURF Dancing, rather than Hyphy, to discourage Hollywood from boxing-in the two cultures.

In 2005 The Architeckz coined a Hip-Athleticz Competition titled “Lourd of the Rings", which was the first 1-on-1 freestyle Battle between two cities (Oakland’s Turfn vs LA’s Krump). This opened the door for other groups and organizations such as The Animaniakz, Maniakz, The Fiends, The Diplomatz, BDL, Turf Wars, and Golden Gigs. Despite continuous impassioned debates between dancers in Oakland, Memphis, and New York, as to which city hosts the best Turfers, the love for the neighborhood dance culture is strong in all three, as is its continued popularity within these regions. Today's TURF dancers credited for bringing the dance to a new level include Retro, Nitro, Chonkie, E-ninja, Scoot, I-dummy, Oscar, and Lil Stuck .

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Also known as:
Taking Up Room on the Floor, Turfn aka (Hittin it) 

Originator: 
Not one individual, but a lot of collective Minds and Energy. 

Region of origin: 

Bay Area - Oakland 


Popularized by: 
The Architectz, Jack, Dom, Price, Sean, Ronald Singleton, Daga, Markie Bo, Lonnie Mac, Ant aka Liquid, Dav, Demetrius Zigler aka Champ aka Lil Bow Wow, Chare' skoobi Johnson, Jeriel Bey, Rahnee, Deontra, E-40, Keak Da Sneak, The Animaniakz, Turf Feinz

Tricking (Martial Arts Tricking) is the informal name of a relatively new underground alternative sport movement, combining martial arts, gymnastics, breakdancing and other activities to create an "aesthetic blend of flips, kicks, and twists." Tricking incorporates a variety of moves from different arts such as the backflip from gymnastics, 540 kick from Taekwondo, butterfly twist from Wushu and double leg from Capoeira. Tricking is recognizable by its flashy kicks, complex flips and twists, and its highly stylized movements which separate it from other arts. An individual who practices tricking is typically referred to as a "trickster" or "tricker".

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Popularized by:
Loopkicks

9:36 PM
Every twirl, tumble and turn gymnasts do indicate the richness of the sport and how it has evolved throughout the years. Gymnastics started out in ancient Egypt as female acrobats perform for the Pharoah and other Egyptians of noble decent. Drawings have been proven to be as old as 5000 BC. The spread of the sport went on from Egypt to Greece, China, Persia and India and even Rome. However, it was in Greece that the sport flourished to be what it is today. Then, gymnatics was for the total development of the body through different physical activities such as running, jumping, wrestling, weightlifting, swimming and throwing. Later, it became crucual for the ancient Olympic Games as Greeks advocated it in honor of Zeus. Gymnastics is actually derived from the Greek word "gymnos" meaning naked because then, male athletes trained and competed in their birthday suits. Consequently, women are not allowed to join or to watch.


The Greeks built  several elaborate gymnasia for phyiscal training. Later on, it evolved into a center for training both the mind and the body. Teachers were Grammatistes who taught reading, writing and other academic endevours; Kitharistes who taught music and Paidotribes who taught physical fitness and were the first P.E. teachers! Gymnastics reached its peak in Sparta , wherein both male and female received the education. Males took it for military training and discipline while females took it in order to be able to give birth to healthy offspring as part of the city-state. Early Christians view gymnastics as Satanic since it focuses on the body and gymnasts perform in nude. This is a big misconception since the Greeks thought of the body as a temple  in which gymnastics could improve both their phyisical and mental health. Philosophers such as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle would go their to workout and later on discuss philosophy. With this sport came the ancient form of physical therapy through Galen's medical gymnastics. As of today, aspects early gymnastics training evolved into separate sports such as track and field, wrestling and boxing.

Currently, gymnastics is an end in itself and gymnasts train for competition and not for something else. Because of rigid training, gymnasts are exposed to the dangers of injuries, wrong posture and underdeveloped body parts which are not properly trained or strengthened. Mark Alexander, a former parallel bars gymnast, exposes the backwardness of coaches in training gymnasts. He emphazied that coaches were just gymnasts before and whatever their coaches have taught them, they will teach the same to their students. He appeals that there be change in priority in training, that instead of training the gymnast in order to be able to do a stunt, the coach must train hm or her to strengthen his whole body. Coaches must integrate strenghtening and stretching exercise before and after the training itself. He further suggests that coaches take a course on anatomy or other related to course that would enable them to understand more and be more compassionate about their trainee's body condition. Mark reveals that whatever injuries a gymnast gets, he or she suffers the most long after retirement. People in this kind of sport then must be knowledgeable too of what they are undergoing and be cautious of the stunts they are doing. Gymnasts and coaches must first consider health and safety before anything else. Just like the ancient Greeks, they must work hand in hand and integrate their knowledge to their craft.

Sources:
History of the Sport Gymnastics: http://www.straipsniai.lt/en/Gymnastics/page/11278
Posture and Gymnastics: http://www.gymnasticsrescue.com/posture.htm

In 1994 the song “Tootsie Roll” by the 69 Boyz became wildly popular on the local Miami, Florida radio station Power96. Soon after, it invaded the local nightclub scene of Miami and spread across America. The Tootsie Roll dance is still a favorite at many clubs and weddings. The dance can make you feel as “sweet as gold”, so to perform it just follow these steps:

1) When you hear “Cotton candy sweet as gold”, move your right hand in a circular motion as if making cotton candy then hold the imaginary cotton candy in the air.

2) Move your legs in a butterfly motion. To do this, get up on your toes, stick your booty out, bend your knees, and repeatedly open/close your legs.

3) When the song says, “To The Left”, you move left. Do the same for “To the Right”, “To the Front”, and “To the Rear”. Usually, this is done with 2 side steps or a sliding motion.

4) To Dip, step out to the right, bend your knee, and drop your booty to the floor, and come back up. Then, repeat this step to your left side.

The dance is rather simple, but utilizes a lot of side-to-side motions. The most difficult part for most people is performing the butterfly, especially if you have poor balance. Most of the song provides step-by-step directions, so just listen up to be able to perform all the steps.

This dance is inspired by the country western line dances of the past, but is performed to a hip-hop beat and flare. It is very common to hear this song and see this dance being performed in nightclubs around the world. It is catchy, easy to perform, and a lot of fun for the dancers.

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Originator:
69 Boyz



Region of origin:
Miami, Florida 

Popularized by:

69 Boyz

The Toe Wop dance was born in Harlem. This dance is performed by repeatedly swinging one arm/hand above the head and then the other. Each swing of the arm up is accompanied by bending the knees and shifting both heels out to the sides (knees and toes pointing in).

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Region of origin:
Harlem 



Popularized by: 
Remy Martin

9:36 PM
Most dancers think that the practice they go through is enough exercise for their body. On the outside, the effects of dancing and working out are the same. You lose weight, sweat a lot, and may make muscles to sore. Both can even cause injury if done in too much exertion or without proper guidance.. However, on the inside, their effects are different. Though they say dancing is a form of exercise, things become different when you doi it for a living. Endless practices can cause fatigue and may even hamper the dancer to perform on the event itself. This where the benefit of exercise to dancers comes in. Through exercise, muscles are strenghthened and bones become stronger. For dancers, resistance training is what they should get into. It improves strength, endurance and muscle tone. Just what dancers need so they can withstand the long hours of rehersals. Also, dancers must take into consideration the food that they take. It is best that they undergo nutritional counseling in order to be properly informed of the food that they should be eating. Basically, since dancing is something streneuous, dancers need to have more energy to burn and so carbohydrates must be considered in their diets. However, each diet becomes more personal since dancers differ in gender, height, weight, intensity of physical activity, etc. Dancers must not just adapt any of the fad diets as it may be detrimental to their health considering the intensity of their physical activity. All dancers may be practicing as much as everyone else does, but still we've got different genetic structures, different medical history and needs. So someting as particular as a person's diet must be patterened uniquely to that person's lifestyle.


Moreover, I highly recommend that dancers must do yoga at least a week before their big event or even a day before to keep the stresses away. Yoga is something meditative so it stimulates the alterness of the mind that is needed during the event for last minute changes. For those who do it everyday, they can reap the fuits right away during practice, through being able to focus to get the steps right away. In addition, yoga improves flexibility, which most dancers must have in order to take on any move on stage. Lastly, after the whole-day rehersal, just before the event or even after it, dancers must get a massage. Massage helps soothe tired muscles, calms the mind and makes the dancer energized to dance again for the next event. Most importantly, for all aspiring dancers, before you get into it, get a full medical check-up. This will help in finding out if you have any special condition that needs to be considered or address right away. If you do, all the more you need to exercise to improve on that condition so it would noth hamper you from your dream of becoming a dancer. As for the professionals, have a yearly medical check-up so you would know if you are still in the pink of health. If ever somethnig has been discovered, take it into consideration when you exercise.

Sources:
Strength Training: http://kidshealth.org/teen/food_fitness/exercise/strength_training.html
Resistance Training: http://www.emedicinehealth.com/strength_training/article_em.htm
Picture from: http://www.wentyleagues.com.au/Libraries/What_s_On/exercise.sflb.ashx

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