A group of scientists have written a technical report on their research named “Male dance moves that catch a woman’s eyes“.
Researchers at Northumbria University and the University of Gottingen wanted to know what women look for in a dancing partner, since “dancing ability, particularly that of men, may serve as a signal of mate quality.”
So the researchers set up an experiment in which they had 30 men to dance to a core drum beat for 30 seconds. The dancers were given no specific instructions on how to dance beforehand, and their movements were recorded via a motion-capture system. An avatar was generated to animate their dance moves. Then 37 women were asked to view each of the dancing avatars and rate their performance on a seven-point scale.
They found that women rated dancers higher when they showed larger and more variable movements of the head, neck and torso. Speed of leg movements mattered too, particularly bending and twisting of the right knee. In what might be bad news for the 20% of the population who is left-footed, left knee movement didn’t seem to matter. In fact, certain left-legged movements had a small negative correlation with dancing ability, meaning that dancers who favored left leg motion were rated more poorly. While not statistically significant, these findings suggest that there might be something to that old adage about “two left feet” after all. One final surprise – arm movement didn’t correlate with perceived dancing ability in any significant way.
So boys, learn to dance and have fun.