…have been highly exaggerated.”
So sayeth my old chum and fellow east bay resident, author Eli Brown, regarding this viral video of four phenomenally talented young guys TURF dancing in the rain at the corner of 90th Ave and MacArthur in East Oakland:
No Noize (red jacket), Man (black jacket), BJ (striped shirt), D Real (white shirt). Directed and edited by Yoram Savion.
TURF stands for “Taking Up Room on the Floor”. It’s a roughly decade-old form of street dancing that originated in Oaktown. This particular footage was shot a little under a year ago. Via the Bay Citizen:
In contrast to other street dances, TURF aims to tell a story. And so “Dancing in the Rain” is a memorial to dancer D Real’s (he’s in the white shirt) brother Rich, who was killed in a car accident on that corner.
The day after Rich died, D Real and a few dancers were gathered in YAK Films’ Yoram Savion’s office at Youth UpRising trying to think of a tribute that went beyond the standard R.I.P. T-shirt. Youth UpRising is a youth leadership center in Oakland with a professional dance studio.
Before his brother’s death, D Real had strayed from dancing and was beginning to dabble in music. In one of their last conversations, Rich told D Real to forget about music and focus on dancing, his real talent. So in memory of Rich, D Real and three friends who were willing to brave the pouring rain danced for this this video.
The aforementioned YAK Films production team has one seriously mind-blowing YouTube channel, and their mission statement brings joyful tears to my eyes: