Russell Horning Gives Students at Elsa Ebeling School a Surprise Performance
Russell Horning, the inventor of the meme-worthy ‘flossing’ dance, gives back to the community through regular involvement. Recently, he surprised kids in a New York elementary school with donations of backpacks and school supplies and gave an instructional stage performance.
The 400 students at Elsa Ebeling School, an elementary school in Brooklyn, NY, were surprised when Russell Horning appeared on the stage of their auditorium. If you aren’t familiar with the name, you’ll likely recognize the wacky, limber dance Horning created. More commonly known as Backpack Kid, Russell Horning is the inventor of “flossing,” and he performed his iconic dance as well as handed out school supplies and backpacks to students of Elsa Ebeling.
Backpack Kid introduced “flossing” to his social media followers a couple of years back, and from there, celebrities started pouring in to express their interest. Horning mentions that a fellow social media icon with hundreds of thousands of followers originally shared one of his dancing videos. Then pop mogul Rihanna gave him a shout out before Katy Perry asked him to join her on the SNL stage for a live performance.
“You get up there and you try to dance your best. But you’re dancing on camera next to Katy Perry. It’s crazy,” he says.
Since then, Backpack Kid has gained national (perhaps even international) fame as other dancers began showing off their new “flossing” moves. Beyond his contributions to viral internet videos, Russell Horning regularly gives back to his community through guest appearances and positive public speaking. Lately, he appeared at a Zumba festival, was featured on Inside Edition, and surprised the elementary students of Elsa Ebeling School with school supplies and an impromptu performance. The backpacks Horning handed out were donated by the Kids in Need Foundation, and the calendar manufacturer Blue Sky also helped with supplies.
Backpack Kid turned the elementary assembly into a pep rally as he handed out backpacks to excited kids from the stage, the kids opening them to find items like notebooks, pencils, folders, and markers for school.
As a relevant viral icon, a supporter of togetherness, and a regular speaker against racism, Backpack Kid is just the role model for today’s kids.
“It feels really good just to show them that people can still be nice and have fun,” Horning says. “And you can show kids how to be happy by dancing with them.”
After all, the school supplies had been handed out and the backpacks autographed, Backpack Kid demonstrated his legendary dance on stage before asking the kids to join him. In a time where the media is saturated with doubt, distrust, and conflict between people (especially the youth), Russell Horning uses his fame to spread a little togetherness.
Russell Horning, “Backpack Kid” Spreads Togetherness Through Dance
Russell Horning, who made a name for himself as meme-worthy Backpack Kid, uses his talent for dancing and his growing fame to encourage positivity. He openly rebukes racism and frequently gives back to the community by volunteering, giving the internet a role model for youth.
Still a teenager, Russell Horning has already made a tremendous name for himself online, on TV, on social media, and out in the dance halls and clubs of the world. Backpack Kid (as the internet calls him) is the popularIzed “flossing,” a wacky dance that you’ve likely seen before. For starters, Russell Horning performed his floss dance––accompanied by his faithful backpack––live on the SNL stage beside pop superstar Katy Perry.
Though he’s gained an international reputation in the last year or two, Horning’s danced for years. He says letting others actually see him dance came about during church camp, where he received a lot of praise and attention. From there, he decided the next step was to take his talent to the online masses through social media platforms like Instagram. With his signature dance, his iconic backpack, and his habit of speaking out against racism, he’s a fantastic, meme-worthy role model for today’s youth.
Russell Horning is different than most teenagers. He cares about togetherness and dances for all the right reasons. His style is comical and rubbery at times, hip-hop and exacts at others. He’s young, but he’s already made an impression on the dance world and the internet alike. He doesn’t bother with what people are saying about his style of dance. “I’m just being myself and being original,” he says, commenting on the fact that most people don’t do comedy-style dancing as he does it.
Before his legendary appearance on the Saturday Night Live stage, another notable celebrity picked up on Backpack Kid’s talent for the spotlight. Rihanna saw one of Horning’s Instagram videos and reposted it on her own page as a reaction to her eight Grammy award nominations. Before that, another fellow Instagram star with over 700,000 of followers tagged Russell Horning for his iconic dancing.
Than Katy Perry, the meme-loving pop star, invited Backpack Kid to do his legendary flossing dance (also called “the Russell” by some) on stage with her during her “Swish Swish” performance during SNL. It was a legendary opportunity for someone as young as Horning, and the spotlight is well-deserved. Besides his frequent buzz-worthy posts to social media, Russell Horning is a regular volunteer in his community.
Last year, he performed for kids at the Zumba Instructors Convention, an annual celebration of Zumba instructors and the positive power of dance. He hopes through his involvement in the community that he can spread a little togetherness and do his part to end racism in America. With so few positive role models for youth today, Russell Horning stands out for his quirky talent and his love for all people, no matter their race or background.
“Backpack Kid” Russell Horning Encourages Support of the Boys and Girls Club of America
Internet sensation Russell Horning, known by his creative handle “Backpack Kid,” is a regular volunteer and supporter of community charities. He encourages fans, readers, and all community members to spend a little time giving back and volunteering with programs like the Boys and Girls Club of America.
16-year-old Russell Horning is a dancer at heart, and his Backpack Kid persona is a viral internet sensation because of it. His self-choreographed “flossing” moves are performed around the world and have been integrated into pop culture through video game references and SNL performances. He has a loyal internet following and fans in high places, as mega pop-stars Rihanna and Katy Perry will let you know.
Beyond his love for dance, Russell Horning also has a passion for giving back to his community. He’s made appearances at elementary schools with donations of backpacks full of supplies, giving an impromptu performance alongside the kids. He’s appeared at Zumba events and celebrity video game tournaments and even surprised a teen this year at her prom.
Backpack Kid is also an ongoing supporter of the Boys and Girls Club of America, whose mission is to “enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.”
“I share a lot of the same values as the Boys and Girls Club of America,” says Russell Horning. “I want kids to be nice to each other and respect each other and achieve their dreams. I think they’ll grow up to be good people that way.”
The Club has had an impact in the lives of youth since as far back as the 1860s, proving to be one of the longest-running charitable organizations in operation today. It began with the vision to provide a world-class Club Experience that ensures all youth are on track to graduate school and have a plan for their future. It also helps young people develop good character along the way and develop habits of a healthy lifestyle.
Today, the Boys and Girls Club of America impacts the lives of more than 4 million kids and teens with the hopes to eventually reach more than double that number. Its broad reach is in thanks to diverse program offerings, supporting subjects like education, sports, career development, the arts, wellness, and leadership.
Volunteers are extensions of the hopeful environment the Club creates for youth. They help kids with homework, coach sports games, do crafts, teach art projects, and act as mentors. Through their assistance, the Club is able to build healthy relationships with young people and have a positive impact in the lives of our communities’ future leaders.
Russell Horning, who uses his Backpack Kid fame to spread togetherness and respect, hopes that he can inspire more people to volunteer with the Club.
“When you help these kids, you help yourself,” Russell Horning says. “Everybody is a little better off.”