Very Serious Scientific Study Asks: Which Dance Moves Drive Girls Wild?

By Joseph Calamia | September 8, 2010 3:18 pm

Researchers say they have uncovered the dance floor moves to make the ladies go wild–at least if you’re a naked, faceless, non-gendered avatar. After recording 19 men, aged 18 to 35, with a 12-camera system as they danced in a laboratory, the researchers projected each man’s individual moves onto a computer model and asked 39 women what they thought.

The Good:

The Bad:

The avatars ruled out the influence of status or sheer attractiveness and allowed the researchers to focus on movements alone. As reported by Reuters, they found they could divide the men judged “good” and “bad” dancers by looking at eight moves: how much they moved their necks, torsos, left shoulders, and wrists; how they varied the movements of their necks, torsos, and left wrists; and how quickly they moved their right knees. Lead author Nick Neave said to Reuters:

“We now know which area of the body females are looking at when they are making a judgment about male dance attractiveness.”

The complete findings appear in the journal Biology Letters, but Neave told the BBC that variety is the real secret for avoiding low-rated “dad dancing.”

“It was not just the speed of the movements, it was also the variability of the movement . . . someone who is twisting, bending, moving, nodding.”

The team, which compares the dance club moves to wild animal courtship displays, believes the good moves might be a sign of “male quality in terms of health, vigour or strength.” As far as we know, the avatars did not get any of the women’s numbers.

Related content:
Discoblog: Dancing With the Scientists: Researchers Express Findings in Interpretive Dance
Discoblog: You Can Dance if You Want to, You Can Learn from Different Bees
Discoblog: Does a Dancing Cockatoo Really Feel the Rhythm?
Discoblog: So You Think You Can Dance: Spider Edition

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