Dressed as twins while doing press before the penultimate stop on the So You Think You Can Dance Tour, Season 6 champ Russell Ferguson and Season 7 finalist Jose Ruiz caught up with us. The spiritual street dancers talked about traveling and gave advice to auditioners and fans.
Russell and Jose enjoyed spending their fall traveling around the country with the So You Think You Can Dance Tour 2010. “We’re going to miss the traveling part of this all,” Russell said. “As far as seeing the cities, we’re not taking it for granted. We’re just really going out there and see everything and finding little shops.” Jose elaborated, “We see it like a journey. No matter what city we’re in, we don’t plan what we do. We just walk out the hotel and it’s almost like our day just goes the way it goes. I think that’s what’s most beautiful about traveling. You know what city you’re going to but you don’t know what’s in that city, so you go in and explore. It’s very humbling and you learn. There’s a lot of wisdom within traveling too.”
As the winner of Season 6, Russell had to wait a while before touring with the Season 7 finalists, but he didn’t mind. “I’m not the one to sit around,” Russell explained. “The opportunity to tour didn’t come around for a while, but I’m always traveling everywhere and back and forth to New York and Philly. I do my thing still. This has brought me to another level of traveling and now I have the money to do it more in the future.”
Since Russell and Jose are street dancers, what is it like performing in some of America’s biggest venues like LA’s Staples Center? Russell admitted, “This is just like performing on the street for me. I never let a crowd get to me. It feels good to have the hype and it gets my adrenaline going, but as far as my spirit, I’m still the same me. I feel like this is a big demonstration outside. Everybody gathers up around and starts watching you—there could be well over 1000 people in a park to just watch you B-boy, so it pretty much feels the same.” Jose agrees and said, “I love the inspiration of dancing for people. I know there are a lot of young people who are aspiring dancers and they look up to us. Just to be able to inspire people means the most to me.”
Season 8 auditions are currently happening in towns across America. Take advice from two Hip Hop-genre dancers who made it to the top. “Stay original,” Russell suggests. “Me being a Krumper, it was a hard thing to be able to not conform to the mainstream kind of Krump. No matter what your craft is, make sure it’s your craft. Really, really do it and portray it in the way that you want to because that’s what’s going to shift the change in the universe.” Jose continued, “It’s the same with Breaking—just stay true to yourself. Stay original; however you dance, you dance when you’re on or off the show. When you audition, don’t change the way you dance just because you think these people may like this more. You showcase you and open your mind to the other styles of dance because that’s another big factor of it too. Just open your mind and try and grasp everything.”
Russell and Jose had inspirational messages to their supporters. “From your boy Russell, keep it fresh! Thank you for the support and definitely never give up on what you do. I know everybody hears that a lot, but sincerely, take it from somebody who is coming from hustling. It’s a struggle to get to where you need to get to, but have faith. Always.” Jose stated, “Peace and blessings to everyone. Keep moving. Keep your focus. Keep dancing. If you don’t quit, you don’t fail.”
Do you want to be in Russell’s or Jose’s shoes? Audition for Season 8 in Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, or Charlotte. Get the details.