Dance off: schools are now banning the 'floss'

Backpack boy floss.
Backpack boy floss. Photo: YouTube

It's a truth universally acknowledged that a fad isn't a fad until it's come full circle: embraced, done to death, and then unceremoniously banned.

We saw flipping bottles banished from classrooms, fidget spinners confiscated from the playground and now, authorities are cracking down on the floss. Yep, you read that right. Some schools are saying no to dancing - and seriously, what's next? Fun? Joy? Sunshine? But I digress ...

A UK mother took to Mumsnet to voice her outrage at her son's school's treatment of the floss -  and other dances from the controversial game Fortnite, explaining that anyone engaging in said floss or the other buffet of dances on offer will receive a detention.

(For the initiated, flossing has nothing to do with dental hygiene. It's a dance move made famous by the backpack kid. For a detailed analysis read this.)

"I've just been reading on my Facebook and it seems my son's school has decided to give out detentions to any child caught doing the floss dance...or any other dance from the Fortnite game," the mum wrote. "How bloody silly is this?! Fair enough if the kids are doing it in class but detentions are being given out to anyone doing it at any time! Seriously??"

One of the Fortnite dances, which has presumably been banned. I can't say I'm too sad about this one.

Like anyone with primary school kids, the mum said that her little one flosses at home constantly, and that she even had a crack at the move herself, "with great failure".

"For god's sake," she lamented. "It's just a bit of fun. Nothing harmful in it whatsoever...but because it's from a game that isn't "age appropriate" it is being banned in school."


Now this, of course, is factually inaccurate because the floss predates Fortnite anyway. But again, I digress.

Some mums felt the ban was also a tad absurd, particularly because OMG THE KIDS ARE DOING SOMETHING THAT DOESN'T INVOLVE A SCREEN.

" My son is quite lazy and I'm actually pleased to see him moving about so much," said one mum. "It's more exercise than he's usually keen to get."

"I think it's a bit daft to give detention for it if it's being done at playtime - who does it hurt, after all?" added another. "Unless the kid hits themselves in the groin, that is (my son has done this a couple of times)."

Others however, felt the ban was completely justified. 

"I get it - my son flossed everywhere, all the time until it was banned at school and at several after school activities - where the adults in charge had had enough of them not concentrating on what they were actually supposed to be doing," said one mum, adding that frankly her son can floss on his own time. "No problem with the dancing, big problem with the not listening," she said.

"Oh god, I find it off the scales irritating," said another frustrated mama. "I'd give out detentions for it in my own house if I could."

Another explained that she'd confined the move to one area of her house, out of fear for her breakables, saying her kids can only "do that ridiculous dance in the very centre of the living room mat where you're not going to injure or break anything or yourself!"

But it's not just parents who are fed-up with the Floss. A teacher confirmed that the Floss Ban is, in fact, spreading.

"I visit schools to support kids with behavioural issues," she wrote. "It's banned in every school I've been into. The reason isn't the suitability of the game, it because the dance is never confined to just the playground."

Others simply couldn't understand how something that 10 out of 10 dentists recommend could be outlawed. I actually thought this post was about flossing," said one confused parent. "And was about to say how irresponsible they were because all dentists recommend it."

From the extremely scientific and comprehensive survey I just conducted on Facebook, it doesn't seem that floss has been banned in Aussie schools just yet.

Is it only a matter of time? Will we soon see teachers handing out detentions for something as harmless as dancing.

Floss this space.