Dabbing is dead - now everybody's 'flossing'

The dab is dead and "The Floss" is here
The dab is dead and "The Floss" is here Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK

WIth the flop of the bottle flip and the demise of the dab, it was only a matter of time before a new fad entered our homes - and I'm not talking about Fortnite. 

If you've recently noticed your kids wiggling their hips and swinging their arms in what looks like a cross between some kind of spasm and/or really needing the loo then you'll be familiar with the dance move known as "the floss".

And no, for the uninitiated, our youth aren't waxing lyrical about the importance of dental hygiene.

This is not the floss dance.

Where on earth did this odd - and dare I say it, quite tricky - dance move come from? I'm so glad you asked because I've gone deep into the history of the floss. And it's ... unique.

The story began, almost two years ago now, as all good modern stories do: with a YouTuber. 16-year-old Russell Horning aka "The Backpack Kid," posted a clip of himself flossing in August 2016. Since then, the US teen, known for his deadpan stare, has gone from around 300 followers to almost 2 million.

All thanks to the floss.

He (and his backpack) flossed on Saturday Night Live with Katy Perry in 2017 and a quick glance as his Instagram account shows that he basically just travels around flossing in various locations. What a time to be alive.

The floss also gained popularity when it became an emote (a celebratory dance move/way to taunt an opponent) in the controversial game Fortnite. You know you've made it when ...

And here's the uber cool Millie Bobby Brown doing the most stylish floss I've seen yet.


A post shared by MBB (@milliebobbybrown) on

Now, a fad isn't really a fad until celebrities who aren't, shall we say, in the target demographic, start giving it a crack. Exhibit A: Jimmy Fallon and Jennifer Lopez. (You might recall that Hillary Clinton dabbing on Ellen basically signalled its death knell so the floss may also be toast soon, too.)

JLo hasn't quite mastered the coordination, which is akin to rubbing your stomach and patting your head, although I think I like her version better. And Jimmy looks like he's hula hooping/about to pull a hammy.

Here's one of the Chrises having a go too:

With the floss infiltrating classrooms and playgrounds around the world, a UK primary school teacher decided that if you can't beat them join them. A clip that has since gone viral, shows "Mr Hunt" getting a floss master class from his pupils. But that's not even the best part.

The Tottington Primary School teacher enlisted the help of poet Paul Jenkins to teach the students poetry - using the dance move. ("You move your arms like this sir and they go from side to side. You do a little wiggle and you floss away with pride.")

Unsurprisingly, the lesson was a resounding success. 

"Most of the boys in my class would never do poetry, but, because it was about flossing, they were desperate to do it," he said.

Meanwhile, over on twitter, the #flossandreadchallenge seems to be catching on - 


So there you go! This might just be a fad we can embrace (if we can figure out how to do it).

Floss on.