Floss (dance)

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Floss dance
Floss (dance).gif
EtymologyBack-and-forth movement is similar to the use of dental floss
GenrePop music
Yearc. 2010
OriginUnited States

The floss or flossing is a 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 viral after Russell Horning[2] (later dubbed the "Backpack Kid") performed it during a Saturday Night Live live performance of Katy Perry's song "Swish Swish", in May 2017.[3] 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.[4][5] Prior to 2017, the dance move has featured in multiple YouTube videos, the earliest of which dates back to October 2010.[6][7][8][9]

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[3][5] and support from parents and administrators, because of flossing's lack of eroticism (relative to other dances popular with young people).[10] 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.[11] 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.[12] Since 2018, flossing has been featured in Bluey.


  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. ^ a b "What Is 'The Floss' And Where Did It Come From?". 13 April 2018. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  4. ^ "Forget fidget spinners, now the craze is The Floss dance". Stuff. 1 April 2018. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ Stuart, Justin (12 November 2014). "LOOK WHAT I CAN DO!!". Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  7. ^ Dano D (14 October 2012). "You Are Beautiful - Grantsville West Stake (One Direction Lip Dub)". Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  8. ^ Kennedy, Eual (13 January 2011). "Backpack kid didn't create the floss mashed potato". Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  9. ^ Mayall, Ryan (18 October 2010). "Ryan Mayall "The Dance"". Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  10. ^ Meyer, Robinson (11 May 2019). "Hello Fellow Kids, It's Me, the New Morning Edition Theme". The Atlantic. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ McWhertor, Michael (15 January 2019). "Forza Horizon 4 removes two dance emotes at the heart of lawsuits". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved 16 January 2019.