Washington, Mar 25 ANI | 5 months ago

A group of evolutionary biologists claim that they have figured out exactly which dance movements catch a woman's eye.


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," the Washington Post reported.

But isolating specific dance moves is difficult - facial attractiveness, body shape and even perceived socioeconomic status play a role in how people judge the dancing ability of their peers.

So the researchers set up an experiment as follows: they recruited 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 sophisticated motion-capture system. Each dancer's 30-second routine was then used to animate a "featureless, gender-neutral" computer-generated avatar.

Researchers asked 37 women 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 percent 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.

(Posted on 26-03-2014)


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