Revealed: The right moves for men on the dance floor

Sep 08, 2010
Men who wish to attract women on the disco floor would be better advised to learn a few moves that answer the female mating drive rather than bother with the moonwalk.

Men who wish to attract women on the disco floor would be better advised to learn a few moves that answer the female mating drive rather than bother with the moonwalk.

Psychologists have identified the key male dance movements that most arouse female interest -- and all are to do with central body motions which send out primal signals of health, vigour and strength.

A team led by Nick Neave of Northumbria University in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, northeastern England, filmed 19 men aged 18-35 in a lab as they danced to a standard disco beat.

The men, none of whom was a professional dancer, wore reflective markers that studded their body and were filmed by a battery of 12 3D cameras.

The footage was used to create a dancing avatar, or animated figure, that was faceless and genderless.

Thirty-seven young heterosexual women were then shown 15-second clips of the avatars and were asked to judge which dance movements were the most .

Eight "movement variables" emerged which distinguished the trolls from the Travoltas.

"Good" dancers did wider and bigger movements of the head, neck and torso, and did faster bending and twisting movements of their right knee (greater movements of the right knee rather than the left were to be expected, as 80 percent of the dancers favoured their right leg).

In contrast, "bad" dancers tended to be stiff and plod -- and throwing their arms around was no substitute for fast, variable movement of the central body region.

"Men all over the world will be interested to know what moves they can throw to attract women," said Neave.

"We now know which area of the body females are looking at when they are making a judgement about male dance attractiveness. If a man knows what the key moves are, he can get some training and improve his chances of attracting a female through his dance style."

The study was published on Wednesday in Biology Letters, a journal of the Royal Society, which is Britain's de-facto academy of science.

Neave said the experiment broke new ground because of the neutrality of the avatars, which gave no cues to the man's face or clothing that could sway judgement.

The outcome matches previous research that shows a preference among for males who are strong and vigorous and skilled in their motor movements.

These are all part of a classic mating quest for the "right" genetic material, which is why the dance floor mimics courtship arenas among animals where the male struts his stuff.

"My guess is that there will be wide cultural variability about the way people , but the interest in the core body movements will be the same," said Neave in a phone interview.

"The movement of the trunk, the neck and the shoulders give out signals of strength, suppleness and vitality."

Neave said he was eager to do the experiment in reverse -- to create female dancing avatars and get men to judge the performance.

This experiment would help determine how far movement determines female allure in addition to body shape, facial looks, eye contact and other factors.

Explore further: Religious music brings benefit to seniors' mental health

More information: Paper: rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/early/2010/09/06/rsbl.2010.0619.abstract

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Better dancers get more desirable mates

Dec 22, 2005

Dance is recognized as a courting signal in many animal species, including humans, and now Rutgers scientists have linked dancing ability to mate quality. The study, for the first time, links dancing ability to established ...

Keeping dancers on their toes

Aug 30, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- New technique allows MRIs of ballet dancers en pointe, aiding injury treatment and prevention.

Recommended for you

Religious music brings benefit to seniors' mental health

21 hours ago

A new article published online in The Gerontologist reports that among older Christians, listening to religious music is associated with a decrease in anxiety about death and increases in life satisfaction, self-e ...

User comments : 5

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

tigger
3.8 / 5 (4) Sep 08, 2010
Brilliant, thanks for the tips :-) Fake it till you make it!
Markmj
4.2 / 5 (6) Sep 08, 2010
A video showing the dance would be great!
Marquette
4.7 / 5 (3) Sep 08, 2010
At least we know what women from Newcastle-on-Tyne like... sounds reasonable, we'll need to see the study repeated around the world.
Rohitasch
4 / 5 (1) Sep 08, 2010
Whaaat? Now I get it! Head banging don't work!!
GaryB
not rated yet Sep 08, 2010
Someone has to say it, there's just tooo much set up:

The best dance to trigger the female mating instinct involves thrusting movements of the hips in a horizontal position.

More news stories

Treating depression in Parkinson's patients

A group of scientists from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging has found interesting new information in a study on depression and neuropsychological function in Parkinson's ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...