Science can make you a better dancer - or at least improve your chances of not looking stupid to the opposite sex, say a group of evolutionary psychologists who used 3D motion-capture technology to create uniform avatar figures and identified the key movement areas of the male dancer’s body that influence female perceptions of whether their dance skills are “good” or “bad”.
Apparently it all comes down to neck, trunk, left shoulder and wrist, the variability of movement size of the neck, trunk and left wrist, and the speed of movement of the right knee.
Sounds simple, right? Read on. The research was led by Dr. Nick Neave and grad student Kristofor McCarty at Northumbria University and they say it has identified potential biomechanical differences between “good” and “bad” male dancers. Neave believes that such dance movements may form honest signals of a man’s reproductive quality, in terms of health, vigor or strength (see 2009's 'Men’s physical strength is associated with women’s perceptions of their dancing ability' by Hugill, N., Fink, B., Neave, N.,&Seydel, H. in Personality and Individual Differences, 47: 527-530) and will carry out further research to fully grasp the implications.
Good dancing. Hey, it's the Running Man. Old School! Credit: Northumbria University They filmed 19 male volunteers aged 18-35 with a 3-D camera system as they danced to a basic rhythm. Their real-life movements were mapped onto feature-less, white, gender-neutral humanoid characters, or avatars, so that 35 heterosexual women could rate their dance moves without being prejudiced by each male’s individual level of physical attractiveness.
Please donate so science experts can write
for the public.
If you're worried about activists using
media to promote fear and doubt about
science and medicine, you're in the right place.
At Science 2.0, scientists are the journalists.
with no political bias or editorial control. But
we can't do it alone so please make a difference.
We are a nonprofit science journalism
group operating under Section 501(c)(3)
of the Internal Revenue Code that's
educated over 300 million people.
You can help with a tax-deductible
donation today and 100 percent of your
gift will go toward our programs,
no salaries or offices.
If you value independent science
communication, collaboration &
participation, please contribute.