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‘Dance like there’s nobody watching’ and everyone will be…

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We’ve all been there. Herded into Pop having successfully managed to avoid some but not all the drinking forfeits at circle, faced with several hours of awkward swaying whilst intermittently peeling your shoes off the purple soaked floor. The use of dance as a form of enticement has long been known, however a recent study carried out by Northumbria University has pinpointed exactly what you should be doing in order to catch someone’s eye across The Copper Rooms.

Northumbria University has pinpointed exactly what you should be doing in order to catch someone’s eye across The Copper Rooms.

Dr Nick Neave, an associate professor at the Department of Psychology, led a team to investigate what features of a female’s movement are thought of as to characterise a high-quality dancer. Thirty nine women were recorded using 3D-motion capture whilst dancing to a drum beat. Their movements were then turned into a computer avatar which completely removed any physical appearance but retained the participants’ movement. Fifteen second clips were then shown to the two hundred judges (57 men, 143 woman) to decide which avatars were the most attractive and why. Greater hip swinging, more asymmetric movement of the thighs and a moderate amount of independent hand and arm movement were the top three traits of the top-rated dancers of the group, but why?

 Child bearing hips don’t actually make child birth easier for a woman, but according to the study, a woman’s ‘hips don’t lie’.

As Dr Neave says ‘dancing shows hints of reproductive potential… and paints a complex biological picture’ which a potential suitor would be interested by. Therefore, it comes as little surprise that dancers displaying their femininity in the form of more movement of the hips was deemed as a more attractive quality of a dancer. Child bearing hips have already been scientifically shown to indicate attractiveness, in the form of the waist to hip ratio of a woman. Contrary to the term, child bearing hips don’t actually make child birth easier for a woman, but according to the study, a woman’s ‘hips don’t lie’. In addition, uneven movements of the thighs and hips are thought to show well developed motor control of the dancer, indicating greater intelligence, which the male judges in the study were particularly receptive to.

This has not been the only study carried out by Dr Neave. A similar study, published in 2010, into the movement of men to grab the attention of a potential mate produced some differing results to those found in women. According to the thirty nine female judges the top three predictors of a high quality male dancer were variability and amplitude of the neck and torso as well as the speed of movement of the right knee. These are thought to imply positive signs of a man’s health, vigour and strength. The affinity for the right knee in particular has been explained to be representative of the 80% of the population that are right handed, and therefore more favourable.

Experiments don’t end here. The team at Northumbria University want to build on the work they have carried out to provide a more comprehensive answer which encompasses many other factors such as a female’s hormonal status and the person’s sexuality. One thing is for sure though, to be a dancing queen in Neon you need to shake it all about.

 

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