In a dramatic live results show, Boston krumper Russell Ferguson was crowned “America’s Favorite Dancer.” The Top 6 finalist was supposed to dance three partner dances, but during his hip hop routine with Legacy Perez and Kevin Hunte at the beginning of the show, he injured his leg. “The way I injured it is after I jumped off the stage into krump, when Kevin and Legacy pulled me back up I had come down on my leg wrong, and something shifted over my ankle and it caused it to swell up and it was real tight. So I wasn’t cleared to be able to dance for the rest of the night, but I could walk.” After receiving the injury, Russell felt a bit defeated because his family was in town to watch him dance and he wasn’t going to be able to partake in the other performances planned for the night. Russell’s dad came backstage to encourage him to keep his spirits up. Also, Russell admits that when he was crowned the winner of the season, his body was pumping with adrenaline which made him forget about the pain long enough to celebrate on stage.
By being on So You Think You Can Dance, Russell said he had a lot to prove to America. “I just was hoping that America would change their views on krump and what it is about, so they could be more familiar with it. And I just knew I was going to be able to get that message across, but winning was a big bonus.” If he inspired you, and you want to know the key to krumping, Russell shares, “It’s not just about looking good and being the best. It’s all about expression in doing what you feel at that moment; but of course, in the form of krump.” The style of krump can vary from dancer to dancer, and Russell explained that “it all goes off of how I feel at that moment. You know, whatever the mood of the song is, that’s how I’m going to dance to it in the form of krump, of course. I just feel like a lot of underground krumpers, they kind of confine to one form, and it’s very similar in a lot of areas; so I just try to bring the versatility into it.”
After Russell won the season he pulled contestant Kevin Hunte up to the stage. Russell told us he brought Kevin up because “Kevin just has been with me through this whole journey…He’s like a brother to me. I felt like I should share that moment with him because we’ve shared a lot of other moments together that were very special.”
Although Russell had to dance outside his style practically every performance, many styles resonated with him. In fact, Russell’s favorite style was surprisingly the Foxtrot. “It was my toughest challenge and I feel like I got closer to it because of that, and I learned more because it was tough.” His favorite dance that he performed was the Afro Jazz frog dance. “It was just real exciting, and it kind of brought me back to my roots a little bit, and it felt natural doing it.” If Russell had the power to pick any dance from the season to be performed at the finale, he would have chosen the Alice in Wonderland themed group hip hop routine choreographed by “Nappy Tabs.” He said that number was the most fun.
What’s next for America’s Favorite Dancer? Russell plans to invest his cash prize and he would like to get into movies, in particular dance movies, as he was inspired to pick up krump from the movies. He also said, “I would love to come back and choreograph a krump routine or hip-hop routine, or anything [for SYTYCD]. It would be an honor.” In addition, judge Adam Shankman promised the final two dancers spots to dance on the Academy Awards show that he’s producing. Russell hasn’t heard any more details about this honor, but he said he’s very excited for the opportunity.
Before hanging up the phone, Russell’s last words were “I just love America.”
To learn more about 20 year old Russell Ferguson, visit his contestant page.