Breaking, or breakdancing as it is commonly known, is not just a dance; it’s a dynamic expression of creativity and physicality that has evolved into a global phenomenon. Among the myriad of moves that a b-boy or b-girl can master, footwork stands out as a fundamental element that showcases their skill and style. In this detailed tutorial, we delve into the niche of 1 leg footwork, a variant that adds flair and a unique challenge to the conventional footwork patterns. Taught by Metal from the Repstyles Crew based in Philadelphia, this guide will introduce beginners and seasoned dancers alike to this innovative style.

Introduction to 1 Leg Footwork

1 leg footwork is exactly what it sounds like — executing traditional footwork patterns but with a twist: one leg remains lifted throughout the maneuver. This style not only tests your balance and coordination but also adds an aesthetic appeal to your dance. Metal, a seasoned b-boy from Repstyles Crew and session 31 Rock Island Breakers from Bermuda, presents this footwork. He credits not only his creative spark for this move but also acknowledges a variation taught by Ken Swift, a pioneer in the breakdancing world.

The Basics of 1 Leg Footwork

The core idea of 1 leg footwork is to maintain one leg in the air while performing footwork patterns with the other. For Metal, his right leg stays up, and he utilizes his left for various sweeps and hops. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown:

  1. Starting Position: Begin with a front sweep using the right leg.
  2. Hops: Execute three small hops with your left foot. These hops are the foundation that allows you to rotate and maintain momentum.
  3. Imaginary Ledge: After completing the hops, visualize an imaginary ledge from which to kick off. This movement helps in transitioning and adding a spin to the footwork.

Metal emphasizes simplicity and efficiency in movements, allowing for a fast execution that appears almost as if the dancer is floating above the ground.

Advanced Variation Taught by Ken Swift

The variation passed on by Ken Swift tweaks the original by adding a level of complexity and finesse:

  1. Starting with Hops: Similar to the basic version, begin with hops but focus on maintaining a rhythmic pattern.
  2. Hook with Second Hop: On your second hop, execute a hook using your right leg while keeping it in the air.
  3. Return to Center: Complete the sequence by bringing your right leg back in front and returning to the starting position.

This advanced variation requires more control and precision as it involves maintaining the posture and balance with one leg while executing complex movements with the other.

Tips for Mastering 1 Leg Footwork

  • Practice Balance: Since 1 leg footwork heavily relies on balance, it is essential to practice maintaining stability on one leg.
  • Start Slow: Begin by practicing the moves slowly and gradually increase speed as you become more comfortable.
  • Use a Mirror: Practicing in front of a mirror can help you correct your form and alignment.
  • Record Yourself: Watching recordings of your practice sessions can provide insights into areas that need improvement.
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Incorporating 1 Leg Footwork into Routines

1 leg footwork can be a showstopper in routines due to its unique visual impact. Incorporate this footwork into your routines by transitioning smoothly from standard moves to the 1 leg variant. It can serve as a bridge between power moves or as a standalone highlight within a performance.


Metal’s approach to 1 leg footwork demonstrates that sometimes, the most effective moves in breakdancing are born from simplicity and a deep understanding of one’s body dynamics. By adhering to the foundational principles of breakdancing and incorporating personal flair, one leg footwork not only enhances your dancing repertoire but also challenges the conventional boundaries of what can be achieved on the dance floor. So take this knowledge, hit the floor, and start experimenting with your own variations and styles. Remember, the essence of breakdancing is fun and expression—let your creativity lead the way. Peace and keep breaking!

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