Women seem to prefer men who mostly use their midsections and necks while dancing, according to a new study.
The study, headed by psychologist Dr Nick Neave and researcher Kristofor McCarty, is the first to identify potential bio-mechanical differences between “good” and “bad” male dancers.
Through 3D motion-capture technology, researchers created avatar figures based on real dancing men and then asked women to rate the men’s dancing skills. The study was able to identify the most important areas of the male dancer’s body that influenced whether or not the women participants rated the dance skills as “good” or “bad”.
For the study, researchers at Northumbria’s School of Life Sciences, asked 19 male volunteers, aged 18 to 35, to dance to a basic rhythm and then filmed them with a 3-D camera system. The movements they made were mapped onto white, feature-less, gender-neutral humanoid characters, or avatars, so that 35 heterosexual women would be able to judge their dance moves without being prejudiced by each man’s individual level of physical attractiveness.
The findings showed that there were eight movement variables capable of making the man either a “good” dancer or a “bad” dancer. These differences were found in the larger motions of the trunk, neck, left shoulder and wrist, and also the variability of movement size in the trunk, neck and left wrist, and the speed of movement of the right knee.
Dr. Neave said, “This is the first study to show objectively what differentiates a good dancer from a bad one. Men all over the world will be interested to know what moves they can throw to attract women.”
“We now know which area of the body females are looking at when they are making a judgment 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.”
Kristofor McCarty said, “The methods we have used here have allowed us to make some preliminary predictions as to why dance has evolved. Our results clearly show that there seems to be a strong general consensus as to what is seen as a good and bad dance, and that women appear to like and look for the same sort of moves.
“From this, we predict that those observations have underlying traits associated with them but further research must be conducted to support such claims.”
Dr Neave thinks that the men’s dance movements may project direct signals of a man’s reproductive capabilities, as far as health, vigor and strength are concerned, and he wants to carry out further research to fully understand the results.
The study is published in the Royal Society Journal Biology Letters.
Source: Northumbria University