Where Did The Floss Dance Come From? How To Do It?

The Floss dance officially became viral after a live performance on a popular TV show in the US, though it was also associated with the game Fortnite

Have you ever joined this trend? Do you know what its origin is? 

Let’s unveil the mystery behind the fun floss dance move that makes you look like you are flossing with an oversized floss!

Who Invented The Floss Dance?

There are many ideas about the Floss dance origins, though the oldest documentation I have seen points to the International School of Beijing, where students did the Floss dance in 2013.

One year later, a clip was posted to YouTube, featuring the dance on TV shows. However, it only became a phenomenon in August 2016 due to the performance of Russell Horning, a 14-year-old boy known as The Backpack Kid. 

Before fame, Horning was still interested in creating and doing fun dance moves in his room.

He got the chance to join Katy Perry on Saturday Night Live in 2017 and inspired a wide range of audience ages to learn the dance move and spread its influence further.

In the same year, The Backpack Kid was credited in the Fortnite Battle Royale video game as an “emote” the game characters can perform to. 

As the game was popular and the dance itself didn’t include any erotic element that might concern parents, its popularity increased tremendously.

Some calling for it to be banned

Although the Floss dance didn’t die, the Floss dance Fortnite issue has caused some controversy surrounding it.

The junior school under the Ilfracombe Church of England was the leader in calling for a ban on this dance. 

The principal was extremely concerned and upset about the violence portrayed in the game because after committing violence, the characters would be awarded with a dance. 

Therefore, the principal felt that the dance would encourage bad behavior.

Nonetheless, many parents didn’t agree with this opinion since their children are still too young to even play similar violent games. They think kids shouldn’t be forbidden from having fun with silly dances.

Check more: What Is Cabbage Patch Dance?


The Floss dance has accumulated over 40 million views, a very impressive number that even celebrities aspire to own at times. 

Since the dance was fun and simple, many people learned and shared their versions, further spreading its influence.

The trend reached pop singers, football players, and top stars in the industry. On a more general level, we have also seen many kids showing their teachers how to get the Floss dance steps correctly.

Ted Danson was given a tutorial by his co-stars on “The Good Place”. No one would have thought the veteran actor would practice it and show his audience a more skilled version a few months later.

Dele Alli, the England midfielder, tried the pose of the dance as part of his celebration ritual when scoring a goal. Furthermore, he also danced to it on his 22nd birthday.

dele alli floss dance

How To Do

Before you try adding your flair to the dance, mastering the moves is the most crucial requirement.

Step 1.

Face a desired direction with your shoulders squared and your feet aligned with them. 

Relax your knees so you can move more easily, and form loose fists with your hands to make it look like you are holding a huge floss.

Step 2.

Swing your arms to the left (L) with your L arm at the front and your right (R) arm behind your body. Don’t bend your arms or loosen your fists while doing this step.

Step 3.

Sweep your arms to the L and sway your hips to the R through the gap between your arms. 

Your arms and hips should meet at the center of your body and always push in opposite directions. 

How far your hips go is up to you: if you push them far to the sides, your movements will be more dynamic; if you keep them close to the center, you can move faster.

Step 4.

Repeat the 3rd step in the other direction.

Step 5.

With both arms at the front, swing them down to the L as if you are drawing half of a circle. Don’t move your hands too far from your hips!

Step 6.

Repeat the 5th step for the other side.

Step 7.

Once you feel confident enough, it’s time to repeat the steps at a much quicker pace.

Some tips

  • For a more energetic vibe, you can start with your arms on the R side and swing to the L instead of going in the front direction.
  • Don’t thrust your hips back and forth in the Floss dance. Swaying them from side to side is the right way to do it.
  • Floss dance looks simple enough but also demands a pretty high level of coordination, so don’t get frustrated when you can’t get the moves right on your first attempt.

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Despite being simple, the movements of the Floss dance are sharp and quick, hence you will want to be in sync with the music beats. 

Songs from the techno, pop, and dubstep genres are usually the best metronome for your dance because the rhythm is extremely defined and clear.

The original performance of Floss featured “Swish Swish”, a song by Katy Perry. You might want to listen to the track and then look for other pieces with similar beats and rhythms.

Popular music charts and music services such as Spotify might also be a source of new and inspiring tunes for you to browse!


Since a remarkable part of the Floss dance’s popularity comes from the game Fortnite, it completely makes sense for you to perform while dressed as one of the players or characters.

Costumes for Fortnite characters are always available in retail stores and online shops. 

If you are not happy with the quality, or you prefer putting your craftsmanship to good use, you can host a DIY project and involve your friends as well. 

When you dance in a group, it would be extra cool if each member of the squad cosplays as a different character.

However, the Fortnite look isn’t mandatory! You can wear anything you find comfortable, especially if your dance team has a theme ready.

Final Words

Most dance experts will categorize Floss as a dance move and not a proper dance with a signature structure and style. 

Therefore, you shouldn’t feel any stress while doing the Floss dance, because the original purpose of it is to have fun. 

Choose an upbeat song, get your friends to join, and maybe you will have a viral clip with millions of views!

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