How the dab became the unofficial victory dance of the Scripps National Spelling Bee

Dabbing – an Internet dance craze and NFL quarterback Cam Newton’s preferred touchdown dance  – appears to have become the unofficial victory dance of the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

That’s right, the hip hop move that Newton made famous is now being used by pre-teens to celebrate their successful attempts to spell words like “condignly,” “bathos” and “nominal.”

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During Thursday night’s Scripps National Spelling Bee final, several videos of young scholars dabbing starting popping up on social media.

“This #spellingbee is lit,” tweeted one user.

For those who aren’t familiar with the dab, here’s what it is: Much like the “Nae Nae” the dance was stolen from the hip hop community and turned into an Internet phenomenon. According to The Daily Dot, the dance originated from Atlanta-based hip hop label Quality Control, although there is much debate about which rapper is actually responsible for creating the move.

We should note that “dabbing” is also a commonly used term for smoking butane hash oil, extracting a high amount of HTC.

Instead of trying to explain how to dab, we will leave that up to Quality Control member “Rich the Kid.” You can watch his dabbing tutorial here:

In Rich the Kid’s words, you throw your elbow up to your nose “like you’re sneezing.”

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But dabbing became a sensation after Carolina Panther quarterback Cam Newton began dabbing whenever he scored a touchdown during the 2015-2016 NFL season.


Thanks to Newton, the move quickly made the rounds online and in embarrassing news segments. Even Microsoft co founder Bill Gates has been pictured doing it.

Gates awkward dabbing attempt spawned an article titled, “Bill Gates did the dab dance and now it’s almost definitely over.” But, it looks like the dab is still going strong, thanks to Scripps National Spelling Bee contestants.