What Is 'The Floss' And Where Did It Come From?

If you've got younger family members then you'll no doubt already be well acquainted with the latest dance craze to have swept the planet.

The highly-coordinated, arm flailing routine known as 'the floss' seems to be this year's answer to the dab, the Harlem shake, shuffling and all of the other hundreds of dance fads that went before them.

For those who haven't yet witnessed the madness, it looks a little something like this.

That's 16-year-old American schoolkid Russell Horning, the dancing social media megastar, perhaps better known as The Backpack Kid, who is credited with inventing the viral move.

The Instagram star, who is known for his flowing dance moves and blank expression, told Complex: "I just posted a video on Instagram just for fun, only thinking about 30 or 40 people would see it, then that video just blew up."

The Backpack Kid first posted the video of himself performing the dance (which he then called 'the russell') in August 2016, and as other YouTubers caught on over the course of the next year it gained widespread attention, propelling the expressionless kid into the spotlight.

Russell even appeared alongside Katy Perry on Saturday Night Live, wearing his signature backpack and did the floss live on television.

Credit: NBC/Saturday Night Live
Credit: NBC/Saturday Night Live

However, things really blew up when the move was featured in popular video game Fortnite, in which players can bust out a few dance moves to celebrate a victory, taunt an opponent or simply because they feel like it.

Now everybody's getting involved. Celebrities ranging from NFL superstars to Stranger Things' Millie Bobby Brown have been posting videos to social media of themselves doing the dance and giving it even more exposure in the process.

Credit: NFL
Credit: NFL

Here in the UK, Tottenham star Dele Alli celebrated his 22nd birthday by hilariously attempting the floss in a video posted to Instagram.

And it's not just the rich and famous who are flossing. A primary school teacher from Tottington in Greater Manchester hit headlines recently when he learned the dance move after noticing his pupils going crazy for it.

Simon Hunt saw that the kids in his class didn't seem to be capable of standing up without starting to floss so he decided that if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

Hunt asked his students to teach him the viral move and they obliged, culminating in a clip of them all performing the move together.

Featured Image Credit: NBC/Saturday Night Live

Paddy Maddison

Paddy Maddison is a freelance journalist and frequent contributor to LADbible. He specialises in men's lifestyle, music and news, which has seen him work with publications including ShortList, FashionBeans, Menswear Style and many industry-leading brands. Contact him at [email protected]

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