What is dabbing and where did dabbing come from? A complete guide for confused parents!

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  • Oh kids these days, crazy little things aren’t they?

    Weird to think that we once sniggered at the things our parents didn’t understand about us when we were young, and now here we are, baffled over the latest dance move that’s gripped our youngsters.

    But seriously, what is dabbing? Why oh why, is everybody obsessed with it? And where did dabbing come from?

    Well, don’t worry, we’re here to offer a supportive hand and give you the down low on what dabbing is, where dabbing came from and try and shed some light on why your kids are dabbing themselves silly at every opportunity.

    What is dabbing?

    Whether it’s a serious family photo or the school play, children everywhere are using the dab to ruin our photo albums – but what actually is this craze?

    Dabbing, or ‘the dab’ as it is sometimes singularly referred to, is a dance move that has grown in popularity over the last year and involves moving both arms up and out to the side of your body in something that looks a little bit like a weird salute.

    It can be done in either direction, first one arm reaches in front of your chest towards the opposite side of your body, and bends at the elbow, with the back of your hand ending up by your ear to make an elongated V shape. The other arm sticks outwards in the same direction, away from your body, in a straight line. Traditionally at this point, when both arms are in position, the head moves down in a bow movement with the rest of the body staying straight.

    Manchester United player Jesse Lingard celebrates his goal with the dab

    Where did dabbing come from?

    As is often the way with these things, no one is completely sure where dabbing came from, but it is thought to be have been formed as an amusing/celebratory dance move originating from rappers in Atlanta, USA.

    Similarly to the ‘Nae Nae’, another popular dance move of this music genre, dabbing grew in popularity as artists used it in their music videos and referenced to it in songs until it became recognised by more main stream figures.

    A young American sports fan starts to dab in the crowd

    What does dabbing mean?

    Don’t be fooled parents, dabbing may sound like an innocent dance move but there is a much more sinister original meaning behind it (although the good news is your kids probably don’t even realise it).

    The Sun reports that the name is linked to smoking butane hash oil and extracting 90 per cent of the THC (the primary ingredient in marijuana).

    It has been said that the dance move is supposed to represent sneezing, something that often happens to people when they’ve taken a lot of cannabis.

    Prince Harry can be seen delighting school children with his execution of the move

    Famous people dabbing

    Despite the trend seeming rather puzzling it has been taken on light-heartedly by a number of famous faces, becoming a symbol of humour or celebration, so don’t worry – your little ones aren’t the only ones doing it!

    Here’s a round up of some of our favourite dabbing moments from the royals to TV stars.

    Ellen Degeneres and Hilary Clinton
    Last year Ellen Degeneres invited politician Hilary Clinton onto her talk show where they enjoyed the odd dab together.

    Prince Harry
    Prince Harry delighted young people when he dropped the dab after giving out hi-fives.

    Labour MP Tom Watson
    The dab even made it inside the House of Commons when Labour’s Deputy Leader Tom Watson appeared to dab during Prime Minister’s Questions.

    Tom Hanks
    Even acting legend Tom Hanks seems to enjoy a dab with his son from time to time.

    Are your kids totally obsessed with dabbing? Let us know in the comments below!

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