Turf Dancing

9:32 PM
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
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