Internet Sensation Backpack Kid Dances at the UniverSoul Circus in Atlanta, GA
Backpack Kid Russell Horning has developed a worldwide reputation for quality entertainment thanks to his iconic look and his wacky choreography. Recently, he was invited to perform at the UniverSoul Circus in Atlanta to showcase his famous moves and participate in a one-of-a-kind show.
Russell Horning (known around the world by his creative title “Backpack Kid”) has always had a knack for dancing, but it’s only been in the last few years that he’s shared his memorable moves with an international audience. He loves to dance, and he didn’t think anything of posting a clip of his wacky new dance with a few friends and family members online. However, because he shared that video, the world now knows and loves the famous “flossing” dance.
A social media trendsetter initially picked up on his entertaining choreography and shared it with hundreds of thousands of his online fans. After, superstars like Rihanna and Katy Perry viewed his videos, and the latter even invited him onto the SNL stage to perform his flossing dance in front of the millions of viewers tuning in for her performance. Backpack Kid’s fame has only grown since then with his flossing dance taking the world by storm.
Recently, he was asked to perform at the famous UniverSoul Circus in Atlanta, GA, a provider of top-notch entertainment. The UniverSoul Circus was established as a single ring circus by Cedric Walker in 1994 with the vision to present a world-class circus featuring a large percentage of people of color. Mr. Walker searched the world over to find only the best talent to present in his show, and the UniverSoul Circus currently features performers from at least 24 different countries.
“It’s like no other circus around,” says Backpack Kid Russell Horning. “There’s a lot of diversity, which is really cool, and lots of talent and hard work goes into each show.”
Cedric Walker began recruiting and training his circus team in 1993, preparing for a production season that would begin the very next year. His first performance took place in 1994 and was initially held in the parking lot of the Atlanta Fulton County Stadium. After a rocky financial start, the circus grew to 10 cities in 1997. By 2005, the UniverSoul Circus had performed in 32 cities across America and already completed its first international tour in South Arica.
The circus often invites famous guests to perform alongside the crew at UniverSoul, and extended an invitation to Backpack Kid for a special performance (featuring Lavaado) this past February. There, he showcased his talent and performed the legendary floss alongside ecstatic members of the crowd.
“It’s a ton of fun to perform with people as talented and far out as the team at UniverSoul,” says Backpack Kid. “I hope I get invited to dance with them again one day, and I’ll make sure to bring some new dances.”
Backpack Kid Russell Horning Keeps Busy Between School, Charity, and His Debut Album
Backpack Kid has taken over the online scene with his “Flossing” dance and other viral choreography. In his spare time, he keeps up with school, practices new dances for his online fans, donates to local and distant charities, and works steadily on his music career––which took off early this year with the release of his debut EP SwagPack Kid.
Backpack Kid (or Russell Horning to his friends and family) gained fame just a couple of years ago but has already developed a worldwide reputation for whacky choreography. His stardom took off when he appeared with his “Flossing” dance alongside pop superstar Katy Perry on the SNL stage. Since then, he’s kept extremely busy entertaining his thousands of online fans and prepping for the release of his debut EP.
The album, SwagPack Kid, grabbed the attention of trending news publishers when he released his first single titled “Drip On Boat” on his 17th birthday. The project finally concluded after a year and a half of steady work, and Backpack Kid was more than happy to share the progress with his fans while celebrating his birthday.
“The only thing I ask from everybody for my birthday is to enjoy the EP as much as I do,” Backpack Kid Russell Horning told the press. “No money, no games, that’s all I want for my birthday.”
The lead single from the EP, “Drip on Boat,” features rapper Swaghollywood and arrived with a quintessential music video with goofy themes inspired by the Napoleon Dynamite film. Not long after the first single’s release, Backpack Kid dropped the second song and video from the album titled Swagpack Kid which also features rapper Swaghollywood.
He never expected his fame to explode as it did––basically overnight––but Russell Horning has worked diligently to keep up his celebrity and give his fans something to look forward to ever since. In addition, the 17-year-old rapper and dancer keeps up with his grades and uses free time for charity and giving back to the community.
Backpack Kid had his start in performing at the Aurora Theater of Gwinnett County, and he regularly supports the art center when he can and works alongside their talent. He’s worked with groups like the Lawrenceville Housing Authority, Families of Children Under Stress (FOCUS) and Gwinnett County Public schools as well. He supports the Boys and Girls Club of America and helps them push their mission to “enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.” In addition, he attends fundraising walks and donates personal belongings to auctions raising funds for philanthropic causes.
Russell Horning is a true friend to his fans and encourages them through positive messages of togetherness and friendship in his online videos. He’s sent letters of congratulations to his fans as well as autographed photos to brighten the day of those who were struggling.
Backpack Kid is as busy a celebrity as any, but he’s careful to carve out time for the things he cares about most and the people who’ve supported him along his journey.
Backpack Kid Russell Horning Supports Outreaches like the Salvation Army and the Navy Marine Corp Relief Society
Legendary internet sensation Russell Horning, known online by his creative Backpack Kid handle, is a regular supporter of various organizations and national outreach programs. Among other notable charities, Backpack Kid donates to the Salvation Army and the Navy Marine Corp Relief to support their missions in local neighborhoods.
Backpack Kid Russell Horning has reached international fame in no time thanks to his wacky choreography, his meme-worthy performances, and his positive activism. His famous “Flossing” dance has reached millions of viewers around the world and has been incorporated into many pop culture staples.
Backpack Kid also sets an example for fellow celebrities and fans alike, using his fame to spread positivity and encouraging others to give back to their communities. While he’s an active member and volunteer of many organizations and charities, he often focuses on uplifting youth and inspiring them to achieve their dreams.
He’s made appearances at major Zumba conferences as a motivational speaker and has appeared at under-funded elementary schools with backpacks and supplies for the students. Backpack Kid has also worked with the Lawrenceville Housing Authority, Families of Children Under Stress (FOCUS) and Gwinnett County Public schools in different capacities.
Backpack Kid Russell Horning is also a regular supporter of the Navy Marine Corp Relief Society, which he has a personal connection to (Russell’s older brother is a Marine stationed at Norfolk Navy base). Through volunteer work and fund donation, Backpack Kid is able to further the society’s mission to bring support and relief to veterans and their families.
The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society is a partner of the Navy and Marine Corps who together provide financial, educational, and other assistance to members of the Naval Service of the United States. In addition, they also provide support to eligible family members and survivors in need. They’re a non-profit organization using financial and non-financial resources to identify solutions that meet emerging needs. Through the organization’s efforts, and the efforts of supporters like Backpack Kid, the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society encourages individual financial responsibility and helps improve financial skills for all their clients.
The spirit of giving is something Backpack Kid is passionate about, and he regularly donates to charities like the Salvation Army in addition working with the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society.
Most people aren’t strangers to the Salvation Army, but many don’t understand the charity’s full scope. People like Russell Horning carry on the organization’s mission to improve local communities by donating clothes, showing support, furthering education, and being positive role models in their neighborhoods. The Salvation Army assists approximately 25 million Americans annually in various aspects, but they also serve in 130 countries around the globe.
Backpack Kid is still only a teen, but he’s already attracted a large international following. By being a positive, giving role model, he hopes he can get both his fans and fellow celebrities involved in more charitable efforts to improve our nation’s communities.
Russell Horning Supports Fans and Regularly Shares Positive Messages Through Social Media
Russell Horning has created a worldwide phenomenon through his Backpack Kid handle and his quirky, viral-worthy dancing videos. Through his rising fame, however, Russell Horning has been a proactive supporter of charities and outreaches and spreads positive values and messages through his internet following.
Still only a teenager, Russell Horning (known to his massive fan base as Backpack Kid) creates dances that take the world by storm. What was initially meant to be a dancing video shared with a small group of friends and family turned into a viral internet sensation backed by some of the biggest celebrities in the music industry?
Superstars like Rihanna shared his videos and amplified his recognition. He even earned a personal invitation from pop star Katy Perry to perform alongside her on the Saturday Night Live stage where millions of viewers got a dose of Russell Horning’s iconic dance “the Floss.”
His whacky dances have been incorporated into pop culture through memes, video games, television shows and more. Russell Horning has quickly become an inspiration to hundreds of thousands of kids, and he’s mindful to use his fame to spread positive messages and give back to society.
Backpack Kid began performing at an early age at the Aurora Theater of Gwinnett County.
Today, he continues to support the theatre. However, he keeps plenty busy between his rising fame and his charitable efforts.
He’s appeared at underprivileged elementary schools to give impromptu performances and hand out backpacks full of supplies to students. He supports many charities and events (such as the Boys and Girls Club of America) and raises awareness and funds for various organizations, even donating personal belongings to auctions.
During the holidays, Russell Horning gathered his friends together to spread a little holiday cheer to those in his community. He and other volunteers surprised families at their homes with gift donations and iconic performances to brighten their day.
He’s careful to keep his fans in mind and lend a helping hand to those who truly need it. When one of his “Flossing” fans suffered an injury that eventually led to the amputation of their leg, Backpack Kid Russell Horning wrote to him and sent an autographed photo to show his support.
To fans earning distinctions or positive recognition, such as earning the acclaimed Eagle Scout badge.
It’s common for Russell Horning to appear on social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube to share positive messages with his following. After encouraging fans to give back during the holidays, he shared this message to bring in the New Year:
“We got a whole new year ahead of us, so let’s take the opportunity and spread more positivity
and stop the negativity––because bad energy won’t help anybody.”
Internet Sensation Backpack Kid Gives Support to the Aurora Theatre of Gwinnett County
The “Floss” is an international craze thanks to the whacky choreography of internet sensation Backpack Kid (known to family and friends as Russell Horning). The Aurora Theater of Gwinnett County is where Backpack Kid got his start on stage, and he shows his gratitude through regular support.
The most commendable celebrities are the ones who don’t let fame alter who they are and who pay respect to their roots after they’ve achieved wide recognition. Backpack Kid Russell Horning is just such a character, demonstrating how celebrities can be positive role models to their fans and community while strengthening the platforms that led to their success.
At just 17 years old, Backpack Kid has already made international news for his star-studded backing and is replicated in online videos by thousands of fans. He’s been endorsed through social media by superstar icons like Rihanna and has even danced alongside Katy Perry during her SNL performance.
Of the pop singer’s invitation to the SNL performance, Backpack Kid remains modest and grateful.
“She found my Instagram on her recommended page and saw that I enjoyed doing what I did, and liked that about me,” says Backpack Kid. “She invited me to perform with her.”
He’s since gained recognition for guest performances at elementary schools, arriving with school supplies and backpacks, and for the charities, he speaks on behalf of and supports through donations.
But before he was world-famous, Backpack Kid Russell Horning had his start in drama at the Aurora Theater of Gwinnett County. He attended their performance workshops and he regularly supports them.
The Aurora Theatre was established in 1996 when a local hardware store in the suburbs of Atlanta got a major remodel in support of the arts. Officials of the City of Lawrenceville, GA understood the beneficial economic impact and planned to make the Aurora Theatre the centerpiece for their new vision. Today, the Aurora Theatre serves as the cornerstone for the county’s revitalization plans and a testament to what city officials can accomplish.
The Theatre remodel came about because of a unique partnership between the city government, private developers and a non-profit charity. Renovations began when the city purchased a 100-year-old church and transformed it into a $7.5 million theatre complex. It has been in operation since May of 2007 and is home to a pair of performance spaces that boast 5,000 season ticket holders, produces over 850 events each year and entertains thousands of locals and visitors.
Plus, they have the backing of their ultimate claim to fame, the viral dancing sensation Backpack Kid and his trendy choreography.
Backpack Kid Russell Horning Spreads Cheer by Giving to the Needy on Christmas
Internet sensation and dancing phenomenon Backpack Kid (known to friends and family as Russell Horning) has made a big name for himself in a short amount of time. Despite his fame and busy schedule, he finds time to give back across the country, doing charitable work even during the holidays to help those in need.
Backpack Kid has a lot to be proud of considering his rise to worldwide stardom in a matter of months. What began as a simple dance move he expected to share online with about 30 or 40 friends turned into an international sensation: the Floss. The dance went viral after he posted it, attracting the attention of thousands and earning shout outs from megastars like Rihanna and Katy Perry.
He’s only just turned 17 years old and Backpack Kid already has millions of online followers (on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube) and reached nearly 50 million views in 2018. He’s performed on the SNL stage with Katy Perry on the invitation, and his dance is so legendary it’s been incorporated into one of the most popular platform games of all time.
Though he’s incredibly busy with his rising fame, Backpack Kid isn’t above making time to give back to communities in need. He’s donated personal items to fundraisers to help raise awareness and monetary contributions to help battle diseases. He’s made appearances at elementary schools with impromptu performances and free backpacks and school supplies for the kids.
During the holidays, he surprised needy families in his community with wrapped gifts and danced alongside kids as they celebrated a merry Christmas together. Backpack Kid showed up to one residential home with a pair of friends to help carry in all the presents to the family, sharing a message to his fans in the video of the event:
“For this holiday season,” Backpack Kid tells his audience via Instagram, “I want all y’all to go out and do a good deed, record it, upload it, and hashtag it. Let’s give back this Christmas season.”
Backpack Kid Russell Horning understands the importance of giving back to the less fortunate during the holidays, but he also understands giving back even after the holiday season has passed. Throughout the year, Backpack Kid shows up at conferences, concert events, celebrity gatherings, charitable outreaches, video game tournaments and more. He spreads messages of happiness, togetherness, and love for all to his millions of fans in the hopes that they will adopt a similar mindset.
After the new year, Backpack Kid started off 2019 with another hopeful message to his viewers:
“We got a whole new year ahead of us, so let’s take the opportunity and spread more positivity and stop the negativity––because bad energy won’t help nobody.”
Backpack Kid Makes an Appearance at the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball 2018 Event
Backpack Kid, known to his friends and family as Russell Horning, gained international recognition for his iconic dances, his wacky style, and his meme-worthy persona. Recently, Backpack Kid was invited to the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball 2018 event alongside top celebrities gathering for star performances and meet-and-greets with fans.
Backpack Kid’s fame was already gaining momentum when he was launched to international recognition by pop superstar Katy Perry. The singer, impressed by his dancing videos on social media, invited him to perform alongside her on the SNL stage to her hit single “Swish Swish.” Still only a teenager, Russell Horning already has tens of thousands of fans and a viral dance that has taken the world by storm: the Floss.
And how did it all begin?
“I just posted a video on Instagram just for fun, only thinking about 30 or 40 people would see it, then that video just blew up,” says Backpack Kid.
Those 30 or 40 people eventually turned into tens of thousands of viewers, chief among them superstars like Rihanna and Katy Perry who did their part to share his dancing with the world. Since earning a name for himself, Backpack Kid has attended Zumba conferences, played in celebrity video game tournaments, and released solo music in addition to a series of new and trending dances.
Most recently, Backpack Kid was invited to attend the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball 2018 Event, a major annual gathering of celebrities and performances that makes headline news each year. The Jingle Ball event began over 20 years ago through New York’s Z100 station––the most listened-to pop radio station in the country. The event hosts the year’s top musicians and asks them to perform their chart-topping singles during the Jingle Ball concert.
Today, it’s one of the most anticipated holiday traditions around with the bulk of tickets selling out within minutes after their release. The event has transitioned from a single performance to a globally-recognized tour across the country where passionate fans get to watch their favorite artists perform smash hits face-to-face. Celebrities performing at this year’s event included Cardi B, Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello, Calvin Harris, G-Eazy, Dua Lipa, and Khalid among many others.
“Getting invited to the Jingle Ball––it’s unreal,” says Backpack Kid Russell Horning. “I get to walk down the same red carpet as the biggest celebrities in the game and meet my fans in person.”
Backpack Kid ensures that he uses his growing fame for good by spreading positivity and togetherness wherever he goes. He’s a regular speaker on the importance of forgiving others and showing kindness when it isn’t expected. Backpack Kid also volunteers across the country, surprising underfunded elementary schools with supplies and attending charities and raising awareness and funds for their causes.
If gathering the country’s most impressive celebrities of the year was the goal of Z100’s Jingle Ball event, then Backpack Kid certainly earned his invitation.
Backpack Kid Russell Horning Uses Fame to Encourage Other Kids to Achieve Their Dreams
By visiting schools with supplies, participating in outreach programs, and making guest appearances, Russell Horning uses his fame and talent for dancing to uplift other kids and inspire them to follow their own dreams.
The legendary “floss” dance popularized by internet sensation “Backpack Kid” has catapulted teenager Russell Horning into an international spotlight. His meme-worthy dances and iconic expressionlessness has earned Horning video shares from renowned celebrities like Rihanna and SNL stage performances with pop icons like Katy Perry.
He’s still a regular teen, though, and you can tell by the way he talks about his nerves during his live SNL performance.
“The whole country was watching us so, yeah, I couldn’t mess up, because if you mess up on national television, you are screwed,” Russell Horning told the Gwinnett Daily Post.
His dance videos have attracted millions of viewers, and his most famous dance was included as an unlockable choreography in the hit multi-platform game Fortnite. Horning sets a positive example for celebrities by using his fame to give back to his local community, spreading solidarity and togetherness. He’s been an active member and volunteer of many organizations and programs, focusing on inspiring kids and ensuring they have more opportunities to achieve their own dreams.
In the past, Russell Horning surprised kids at elementary schools with donations of backpacks full of school supplies, inviting them on stage to perform his legendary dance with him. He’s also appeared at Zumba conferences as a guest speaker and proven that his focus is on bringing people together.
He’s partnered with major outreach programs to accomplish this, most notably his work with the Lawrenceville Housing Authority, Families of Children Under Stress (FOCUS), and Gwinnett County Public schools in different capacities.
The Lawrenceville Housing Authority provides “decent, safe, and sanitary housing to the low-income citizens of Lawrenceville and the surrounding areas.” As a local resident, Russell Horning volunteers with the group to help give community members a home they can be proud of. Since it began in the 1950s, LHA has developed 9 housing sites and a total of 212 public housing units.
Backpack Kid also donates to FOCUS, a program aiming to comfort medically fragile children or those who have significant developmental and/or physical challenges.
He gives back to local schools often but spends a lot of time especially with kids in the Gwinnett County Public Schools. He takes his iconic dances and performs them for audiences at Moore Middle School and Brookwood High School. He speaks at schools like Rebecca Minor Elementary to inspire kids and spread solidarity. Apart from his volunteer work with local charities and organizations, he supports fundraisers in the local school system such as his sponsorship with Gwin Oaks Elementary fundraisers.
Backpack Kid is still a kid himself, and still has a lot of time to bring people together, unite his community, and grow his fame and talent. But he’s already proven his worth as a positive role model to thousands of kids around the world.
Backpack Kid Russell Horning Headlines the 2018 Best Buddies Fundraising Walk
Internet sensation Russell Horning, known by his creative title “Backpack Kid” and his legendary “flossing” dance, contributed to this year’s Best Buddies Friendship Walk to raise awareness of intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
You know him from his iconic SNL performance with Katy Perry, but you may not know that teenager Russell Horning is a regular volunteer, fundraiser, and guest speaker at gatherings across the country. He chooses to use his growing Backpack Kid fame to help out those in need and to be a positive inspiration to his generation.
“People should be nicer to each other and better to each other,” says Russell Horning. “When they see celebrities giving back and encouraging people, they might think ‘if they can do it, so can I.’”
He’s a regular sponsor of charitable events and appears at gatherings, fundraisers, and conferences to spread his hope for togetherness. In the past, Horning visited Elsa Ebeling Elementary School with backpacks full of school supplies for the kids. He’s danced and spoken at Zumba instructor conferences and partnered with outreach programs such as Families of Children Under Stress (FOCUS).
He keeps busy throughout the year with a packed tour schedule, visiting cities across the continent such as Tampa, FL, New York City, Memphis, TN, and Vancouver, BC. Russell Horning visits many of these locations explicitly for charitable events, such as the Best Buddies Friendship Walk in Tampa he attended earlier this year.
The Friendship Walk to Remember
The Friendship Walk, which is organized and headed by Best Buddies International, is the top fundraising walk in the country for IDD. The mission of the event is to spread awareness and raise funds to support individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Those with these specific types of disabilities usually develop disorders at an extremely early age or else are born with their disorder, living out their entire life with it. Disability stems from disorders like Down Syndrome, autism, Fragile X, Williams syndrome, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury and others. These conditions can have a negative impact on an individual’s physical, intellectual, and/or emotional development, affecting all areas of their lives.
Through Best Buddies, people with IDD can build new friendships with caring individuals, develop leadership skills through hands-on programs, and participate in integrated employment.
Backpack Kid Russell Horning was this past year’s headline celebrity for the charitable walk in Tampa, helping raise thousands of dollars in funding. While there, he performed his wacky dancing and handed out signed t-shirts to excited attendees.
Earlier in the year, Russell Horning was part of a select group of celebrity Fortnite competitors hosting a live broadcast event called the Fortnite Pro-Am Tournament. (His iconic “flossing” dance appears as an unlockable component in the bestselling game, a major feat for the teenage celebrity). Tournament participants were offered unique franchise memorabilia to take home, and Backpack Kid brought his along to the Best Buddies Friendship Walk as an additional auction piece to help raise funds and awareness. Through regular community involvement, Russell Horning proves to his generation that celebrities can be nice, giving, and truly inspirational leaders, giving them hope and solidarity along the way.
Russell Horning’s Influence as Backpack Kid Continues to Grow
Russell Horning, also known by his online character title “Backpack Kid,” has spread togetherness and encouragement for as long as he can remember. However, his legendary dances and his recent television performances have launched Horning into international fame.
Russell Horning has been a dancer for years, participating in his favorite extracurricular activity without thinking too much about it. He just loves to do it. It’s only within the last couple of years that the internet has grown to recognize his wacky dances, and only since his SNL performance last year that his fame truly took off. But he’s had some help getting there from celebrities you’re already familiar with.
Backpack Kid wanted to share his unique dances and style with the world, so he made dancing videos and posted them to social media to rave review. Another social media trendsetter with hundreds of thousands of followers picked up on Horning’s talent and shared a video on his wall, which boosted Backpack Kid’s reputation online. From there, legendary pop icon Rihanna discovered his video and did her part to spread awareness. After, Katy Perry picked up on his talents and invited Horning onto the SNL stage for a live performance of her hit single “Swish Swish.”
If most people hadn’t seen “the Floss” before then, the iconic dance Horning popularized, millions tuned in for the live performance and spread the word shortly after. By the next day, the internet had exploded with news on the Floss, strangers from all over the country trying it out and posting their own attempts on social media.
The dance has gained wide recognition since, and a quick Google search will bring up dozens (if not hundreds) of videos of people trying out the Floss. The news has covered firemen entertaining kids with the Floss during fire drills and parents performing it hilariously alongside their children. The Floss is also popular with grade-school groups at pep rallies and dances.
Russell Horning Regularly Gives Back
He’s a young guy with a big heart who’s using his fame to give back to the community. His dances are meme-worthy and taking off with younger generations, making him a crucial influence online. Thankfully, Russell Horning is just the role-model these kids may need.