'Flossing' Is The New 'Dabbing': What Makes Dance Moves Go Viral?

The highly coordinated dance routine has nothing to do with cleaning your teeth.

Every few years, there's a dance craze inspiring the young and old to move uniformly -- and the latest fad is inadvertently helping dentists.

It's called 'flossing', but not as you previously understood it. It has nothing to do with your teeth, and everything to do with jerky hand and body movements.

The highly-coordinated, arm flailing routine seems to be this year's answer to the 'dab'. While the 'dab' is gesture of triumph or playfulness, the 'floss' is a little more controversial.

The 'floss' was created by teenage US Instagram star Russell Horning known as The Backpack Kid.

Historically, music stars and movies have kicked off such cult body movements. In the 1990's, it was Madonna's Strike-A-Pose and the Macarena that took the globe by storm.

More recently, K-pop inspired Ganman style had everyone from politicians to pensioners executing the jockey-styled manoeuvre.

But it was social media, not pop stars that gave rise to the 'dab' and the 'floss' - allowing ordinary people to inspire extraordinary viral movements.

This latest pop culture trend has been on social media for some months, but its now enticing everyone from children to our police force onto the dance floor. Even Aussie media personalities are also giving it a go on air. 

Like many dance fads before it, some advocacy groups have adopted the 'floss' as part of their cause.

In the UK, LGBT activists and allies are ‘flodss’ dancing to raise money for a local anti-bullying equality charity.

The trend has seen people flock to the hashtag #FlossWithPride to upload videos of their best dance moves.

But this week, a school in Devon, England banned the dance move due to its link to the violent video game Fortnite. 

During the game it is possible to pop off a few dance moves to taunt an opponent or celebrate a victory.

A screen grab of Fortnite in which a victory "floss" dance is done

In a message to teachers, the school principal Catherine Cox said, "We want our school to be one in which human beings treat each other with kindness and appreciation.

"Fortnite is about mass killing of other human beings and being awarded by a dance of celebration if you are successful."

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