Turfing

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Turf dance is a form of American street dance that originated in Oakland, California. The term is credited to dancer Jeriel Bey, who created it as an acronym for Taking Up Room on the Floor[1][2] because the terms "having fun with it" or "hitting it" (as it was originally known) didn't seem marketable. The term turf dancing originated as a way to describe dances that different 'turfs' from Oakland performed to represent where they were from (the same as 'blocks' or 'sets'). The dance form had its earliest influences in the Oakland Boogaloo movement of the mid-1960s, later developing into a distinctive dance style.

History[edit]

Turf Dancing has its earliest origins in the Oakland Boogaloo movement of California in the 1960s,[2] developing into a separate genre of dance in the 1990s. Along with hyphy music, it came to be seen as distinctively representative of Oakland.[3] The movement rose to prominence in 2002 following Jeriel Bey's establishment of his group, "The Architeckz." Turf Dancing was first displayed on videos from artists such as Baby Bash, Keak Da Sneak, and E-40 by innovative and influential turf dancers (and creators of the turfing Lifestyle) Jeriel Bey. Along Demetrius Zigler, Chare' Johnson, Rawnay, Ronald "Head" Singleton & Yun Shep, and Dav 2.0.[3] Turf dance had been promoted as a means of dispute resolution within the Oakland community,[3] and in 2005 The Architeckz built on this concept of dance battle by engaging krump dancers from Los Angeles in city-level competition.[1] Friendly rivalries with dancers from New York and Memphis[2] have developed as well. The artist E-40 brought international attention to the movement with his 2006 single Tell Me When to Go.[4] In 2012 Alonzo (Turf) Jones [5] , AKA Retro, a turf dancer and skateboarder from California's Bay Area competed on NBC's America's Got Talent (season 7).[6]

Foundation[edit]

The foundation of turf dance is based on a series of dances with different "turfs" in oakland displayed. Some of these foundation dances are "two step," "brookfield," "auntie," "shaking," "the busta," "cliffhangers," "tsunamis" and "traces". Turf dance also includes "story telling" which is a style based on pantomime "life stories" or "everyday activities". Turfing incorporates other dance style concepts such as tutting, flexing, waving and animation. Turf dance is an improvisational, free-flowing form of dance that is based on the idea of pure cause and effect but focuses on storytelling, the creation of optical illusions, and the display of distinctive personal style. Dance elements include popping, locking, and miming.[7] Gliding is heavily used in turf dance because it enables the creation of optical illusions. "Going dumb," or completely letting one's emotions loose on the dance floor, is also a distinctive part of the tradition.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Burkey, Shannon (2005-07-26). "Freestylin' Freestylin' Freestylin' The Architeckz aim to". Oakland Tribune. Retrieved 2009-02-17. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b c Zamora, Jim Herron (2007-03-10). "Architeckz look to build outlet for Oakland youth / Dance troupe channels emotions through 'turf dancing,' a younger sibling of 1980s break dancing". San Francisco Chronicle. p. B 1. Retrieved 2009-02-17. 
  3. ^ a b c Hix, Lisa (2005-10-16). "CLUBLAND". San Francisco Chronicle. p. D 5. Retrieved 2009-02-17. 
  4. ^ Stelfox, Dave (2007-11-15). "Why doesn't the UK have hip-hop dance crazes?". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-02-17. 
  5. ^ Color, Mad (2012-06-01). "Alonzo 'Turf' Jones Brings the Art of Extreme Hip Hop Contortionism to the Masses on ‘America’s Got Talent’.". popscampaign.org. p. 1. Retrieved 2012-07-02. 
  6. ^ "America's Got Talent - NBC Site". Nbc.com. 2012-07-02. Retrieved 2012-07-02. 
  7. ^ "East Bay Express – Best Of". www.eastbayexpress.com. Retrieved 2009-02-17. 
  8. ^ Hesse, Monica (2008-01-20). "There is an escape in dance.". The Washington Post. p. M02. Retrieved 2009-02-17. 

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