Turf Battle Competition Coming Back to Berkeley in December


With the success of the “Dead Silence” Halloween turf dance battle, Turf Feinz member and founder of Turf Inc, Johnny “Johnny5” Lopez is already prepping for the next battle in December.

“When I started dancing in middle school, the hyphy movement was still going on and I didn’t know much about bone breaking, tutting, and other moves associated with turfing,” said Lopez. “My cousin was friends with many of the older turf dancers in Oakland and I would go by Youth Uprising and meet more dancers over there.”

Turf dancing incorporates several hip-hop dances along with the performer featuring his own movements and style. Turfing relies on improvisation from dance styles such as storytelling, gliding, animation, tutting and popping.

Lopez joined the Turf Feinz five years ago and now at 23 teaches dance classes at Youth Uprising where he used to learn. He also wants to teach dancers of all ages turf dancing at the MVMNT dance studio in South Berkeley. He decided to form Turf Inc. last year to host battles and gain exposure at new venues while inviting dancers with different styles from all over the country to compete.

The 7th Turf Inc event was held at the MVMNT Dance Studio for Halloween and featured a tournament of eight teams with 24 dancers competing in three-on-three battles. Many dancers were dressed in costumes for the Halloween dance battle, including the wolfman, hippies, and skeletons. The audience was treated a variety of acrobatic and contortionist movements from the dancers to popular hip hop music being spun by DJ McFly.

The main event matched battle-five winner Levi “iDummy” Allen against Garion “No Noize” Morgan. Together, the Turf Feinz have over a million views on Youtube and have attracted the attention rappers such E-40, Tyga, Too Short. The judges included veteran Turf Feinz member Darrell “D-Real” Armstead, who was recently featured on Season 2 of the MTV show “World of Jenks.” After a close three round main event, iDummy prevailed.

“At the end of the day, events like these are about having fun and respecting one’s dance style,” said Animaniakz crew member Jesus Ibn El, otherwise known as “Zeus” of the Flying Dubs acro-dunking team and mentor to iDummy. “It’s great to see so many people taking notice of the turf dancing culture.”

With the success of the Halloween dance battle, Lopez says he will be hosting another turfing event in December at the same venue.


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