The science of dancing

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By Matt Wahl

Every one of us has been there—at a frat, dancing—when you see that one guy who seems to repel all women away from him, simultaneously revolting them and making other men feel fortunate of their own coordination competency. So, which moves will make you more like John Travolta on the dance floor?

A new study by Northumbria University, located in North East England, says it’s not fancy footwork, but rather upper body movement that will make the ladies swoon. The study, which focused on a heightened female hormonal response during courtship dancing, had surprisingly detailed and eccentric results.

According to the experts, several factors are important to eliciting a positive reaction: the speed of the right knee, and the size and variability of the movement of the neck, trunk, left shoulder, and wrist. So basically, if you can dance like the people on “So You Think You Can Dance” or “America’s Best Dance Crew,” then you’re much better off than someone who can Riverdance, despite how good they might be.

It’s most important for guys to add their own flair and not be flat on the dance floor, the study found. Researchers also added that the movement appeal stems from animal courtship rituals, in which males often perform elaborate dances in order to attract females. Dance movements are supposed to be representative of a man’s reproductive quality in terms of health, vigor, and strength.

Ladies, you can be the judges of that.

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