|Etymology||Back-and-forth movement is similar to the use of dental floss|
Videos of the dance on social media became popular after 14-year-old Russell Horning, known as "the backpack kid", performed it during a live Saturday Night Live performance of Katy Perry's song "Swish Swish" in May 2017. 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. 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.
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 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 and Free Guy.
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