Twenty-one-year old Tommy Ly threw down his break-dancing moves with his crew during a late-night event at Empire Ballroom last month, and if you hadn't seen the shorter pant leg, you wouldn't have known from watching his moves that he only has one leg.
"My name is Tommy Ly, and I got into break dancing in high school. A few of my friends did it. We went over to each other's houses and started practicing in our garages. We'd lay down a piece of linoleum, listen to music and throw down. We started watching videos and going to jams to see b-boy icons who had already made names for themselves, seeing them dance and seeing them as what we would want to become.
"Now I do Warrior games at the NBA coliseum (Oracle Arena). I do halftime shows and timeout shows, and I also dance at a club called the Element Lounge (in San Francisco). I lost my leg to cancer (osteosarcoma). It was amputated above the knee in 2004. I was unable to do anything physical for a while and was bed-ridden. Emotionally it was hard, but mostly I was more driven. I wanted to break dance more and more. I was tired of being in bed. Everything in my life, I was more driven to do.
"A lot of people are interested in seeing me because they don't see (a one-legged b-boy) very often. But I just look at it as breaking and not any different than before.
"Break-dancing is a really positive thing to keep kids out of trouble. I encourage kids to do it. It also takes kids' minds off of other things and gives them something to improve on and concentrate on and keep them productive.
"Everybody just keep breaking and have fun with it."