|Etymology||Back-and-forth movement is similar to the use of dental floss|
Videos of the dance on social media became viral after Russell Horning (later dubbed the "Backpack Kid") performed it during a Saturday Night Live live performance of Katy Perry's song "Swish Swish", in May 2017. It has since become a trend among children and teens, and has been performed by celebrities in videos. The Floss is also featured in The Simpsons, Universal Kids, Disney XD, and Disney Channel. Prior to 2017, the dance move has featured in multiple YouTube videos, the earliest of which dates back to October 2010.
Flossing is featured in the 2017 video game, Fortnite Battle Royale 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 is very popular in schools, due to Fortnite and support from parents and administrators, because of flossing's lack of eroticism (relative to other dances popular with young people). 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. 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. Since 2018, flossing has been featured in Bluey.
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- Dano D (14 October 2012). "You Are Beautiful - Grantsville West Stake (One Direction Lip Dub)". Retrieved 2 January 2019.
- Kennedy, Eual (13 January 2011). "Backpack kid didn't create the floss mashed potato". Retrieved 2 January 2019.
- Mayall, Ryan (18 October 2010). "Ryan Mayall "The Dance"". Retrieved 2 January 2019.
- Meyer, Robinson (11 May 2019). "Hello Fellow Kids, It's Me, the New Morning Edition Theme". The Atlantic. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
- 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.
- McWhertor, Michael (15 January 2019). "Forza Horizon 4 removes two dance emotes at the heart of lawsuits". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
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