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‘Dab on them folks;’ A brief history of the Dab dance in sports

The “dab” dance popped up all over the NFL on Sunday, with at least four recorded instances. None moved the needle more than Cam Newton’s.

The “dab” dance popped up all over the NFL during Week 10, but none moved the needle more than Cam Newton’s, which helped kickstart a national movement that’s still going strong.

Newton danced after a late touchdown against the Titans, and danced for eight seconds. When two Titans players confronted him about the celebration, he continued to dance in their faces, even as he backed away.

This dance originated over the summer in Atlanta with rap group Migos, and it caught on when Future and producer Metro Boomin’ were seen dabbing.

The dance is pretty simple; one leans in to their elbow like they’re sneezing. That’s it, literally. You’ve dabbed before.

Now, it’s all over sports. Without further ado, here’s a brief history of the dab.

The earliest football dab appears to be from Sept. 13, when Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill scored in a Week 1 game against the Oakland Raiders.

Another Bengals player, defensive end Carlos Dunlap, celebrated with the dance on Oct. 4.

LeBron James dabbed before a preseason game on Oct. 5.

Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell, broke out a double dab on Oct. 12:

Cam Newton’s first known in-game dab came after a touchdown in an Oct. 18 win over the Seahawks.

Lorenzo Cain dabbed after a stolen base in Game 1 of the World Series on Oct. 27

Then, things began to pick up steam.

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Clemson coach Dabo Swinney dabbed after a win over Florida State on Nov. 7, and became Dabbin’ Swinney.


Week 10 in the NFL featured tons of dabbin’ — Newton’s was the most prominent, but Chiefs defensive end Mike DeVito may have been the best:


On Nov. 28, longtime Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer hit the dab, as did Ohio State coach Urban Meyer.


On Dec. 20, during a game filled with trash talk and dustups, Odell Beckham mocked Cam Newton’s dab:

When the Falcons finally handed the Panthers their first loss in Week 16, Falcons owner Arthur Blank did the dance:


The Redskins clinched the NFC East, and general manager Scot McCloughan dabbed.

In what was maybe the best dab of all time, Chiefs coach Andy Reid raised one finger in the air as he dabbed, celebrating the team clinching a playoff spot.