Floss (dance)

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Floss (dance).gif
A 2018 GIF of someone doing the floss
EtymologyBack-and-forth movement is similar to the use of dental floss
GenrePop music
OriginUnited States

The Floss is a popular dance move in which a person repeatedly swings their arms, with clenched fists, from the back of their body to the front, on each side.[1]


The name comes from the moves themselves, which involve "a lot of fast arms and hip swings as though using a huge, invisible piece of dental floss".[1]


Videos of the dance on social media became popular after 14-year-old Russell Horning, known as "the backpack kid",[2] performed it during a live Saturday Night Live performance of Katy Perry's song "Swish Swish" in May 2017.[3][4] It has since become a trend among children and younger teens, and has been performed by celebrities in videos. The floss has been featured in The Simpsons, and in television shows airing on Universal Kids, Disney XD, and Disney Channel.[5][6] The dance was used in NBC's The Good Place. Prior to 2017, the dance move had been featured in numerous YouTube videos, the earliest of which dates back to October 2010.[7][8][9][10]

Flossing is featured in the 2017 video game Fortnite Battle Royale, developed and published by Epic Games, as a limited-time dance "emote" as a reward from the Battle Pass Season 2 that can be performed by the characters while playing. Flossing has become popular in schools due to the popularity of Fortnite[4][6] and because of support from parents and administrators, as flossing can be seen as lacking the relative eroticism seen in other dance moves popular with young people.[11] In December 2018, Horning's mother filed a lawsuit against Epic Games for copyright infringement of the dance emote, the third such similar that Epic had seen.[12] Horning's suit against Epic resulted in Playground Games removing the dance emote in their 2018 racing video game Forza Horizon 4 via an update to avoid possible litigation against them.[13] The floss dance is featured in the Blizzard's video game Heroes of the Storm as well, in which playable hero Junkrat is able to perform the same dance move.[14] In 2018, flossing has been further popularized by an Australian preschool show, Bluey. It has also been featured in an Energizer battery ad, where the mascot Energizer bunny does the dance.[15] The floss dance also was featured in the movies Ralph Breaks the Internet, The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, Shazam!, Playing with Fire, Sonic the Hedgehog, Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Candace Against the Universe, Tom & Jerry[citation needed] and Free Guy.


  1. ^ a b Whelan, Zara (17 April 2018). "'The Floss' dance craze sweeps the nation – here's how you do it". lincolnshirelive. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  2. ^ "How to floss dance, who created it and why is everyone doing it?". 18 April 2018.
  3. ^ Meet the Dancing 'Backpack Kid' Who Stole Katy Perry's Spotlight on 'SNL' on YouTube
  4. ^ a b "What Is 'The Floss' And Where Did It Come From?". 13 April 2018. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  5. ^ "Forget fidget spinners, now the craze is The Floss dance". Stuff. 1 April 2018. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  6. ^ a b "From Fortnite to the classroom: the 'floss' dance craze sweeping schools | Tes News". www.tes.com. 24 April 2018. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  7. ^ Stuart, Justin (12 November 2014). "LOOK WHAT I CAN DO!!". Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  8. ^ Dano D (14 October 2012). "You Are Beautiful - Grantsville West Stake (One Direction Lip Dub)". Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  9. ^ Kennedy, Eual (13 January 2011). "Backpack kid didn't create the floss mashed potato". Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  10. ^ Mayall, Ryan (18 October 2010). "Ryan Mayall "The Dance"". Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  11. ^ Meyer, Robinson (11 May 2019). "Hello Fellow Kids, It's Me, the New Morning Edition Theme". The Atlantic. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  12. ^ Arif, Shabana (18 December 2018). "Backpack kid is the latest in a long line of celebrities suing Epic over its Fortnite dances". VG247. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  13. ^ McWhertor, Michael (15 January 2019). "Forza Horizon 4 removes two dance emotes at the heart of lawsuits". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  14. ^ Junkrat emotes dance and voice lines Heroes of the Storm PTR, retrieved 7 January 2020
  15. ^ "Energizer Ultimate Lithium TV Commercial, 'Dancing Bots'". iSpot.tv.