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.