The evening commute on BART is Eric Bassett’s time to shine.

Bossett, 20, who performs as Kid Strobe, leads his seven-man crew onto a train at Powell Street Station in San Francisco and carves out a small dance floor by the doors. Weary riders make way — faces flecked with a blend of curiosity and annoyance.

Then the beat starts thumping and feet begin flying.

As the train roars through the tunnel, Bossett and his Oakland-based troupe take turns performing solo dance routines for the captive audience, stopping abruptly to collect donations in a shoebox before the doors open at the next stop — “They say the best nation is a donation.”

The Turf Feinz, as they’re called, are among a growing number of groups of mostly young men on BART who perform a kind of street dance called turfing, a distinctive Oakland-bred style — some say the progeny of breakdancing — that came to prominence in the early 2000s (TURF is an acronym for Taking Up Room on the Floor).

KQED News met up with Bossett and his crew on a recent weekday evening and tagged along for the ride.

Author

Adam Grossberg

Adam Grossberg is a web video producer at KQED News. Email: agrossberg@kqed.org.

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