From the Harlem Shake to voguing, we all have our favorite moves which we’re more than happy to whip out should the occasion call for it. Most of the time, luckily, we don’t worry about whether the shapes we’re throwing are deemed “sexy” by the world. It’s not about that; it’s about having fun, socializing, and letting loose.
Still, there’s no doubt that some ladies look just plain better on the dance floor than others. We all have that one girlfriend who looks nothing short of drop-dead gorgeous when she hits the floor. It seems almost effortless, the way she moves and shakes, and yet the result is captivating. She’s just plain good when it comes to dancing; it comes naturally. So, what’s she doing that the rest of us are not?
Well, that’s just what a team of psychologists from Northumbria University in the United Kingdom set out to find and published their results in Scientific Reports. The researchers asked 39 female students to dance to a high-tempo track by British pop star, Robbie Williams. Using motion capture technology, the team were able to create videos of digital avatars which mimicked each student’s particular moves. The videos were then shown to both other women and heterosexual men to determine which were the “best” or “sexiest” dancers. (Don’t worry, guys, the same team of researchers previously determined the sexiest dance moves for men—it’s all in the upper body movement.)
Here’s what a typically “good” female dancer looks like, according to the findings of the study:
And here’s what a typically “bad” female dancer looks like, according to the findings of the study:
As you can see, the findings were pretty conclusive: “Good” female dance moves are all in the hips, arms, and thighs. The reason for this likely lies in our evolution since historically dancing was all about finding the right mate. While there are cultural differences between which moves are seen as good or bad, there are certainly some traces of the original purpose of dancing in our modern society. Let’s face it, there’s no denying the fact that some people use their killer moves as a way of attracting members of the opposite sex.
“Dance is strongly influenced by culture,” explains Nick Neave, one of the co-authors on the study. “So there may be some cultural differences in specific movements or gestures. The basic idea that dance moves are able to convey honest information about the reproductive qualities of the dancer in question appears sound.” In short, what we’re telling guys when we swing those hips is that we’re ready to carry their child.
So, what’s the takeaway message here? Should we all quit doing the robot and opt for something a little more hip-centric? Well, the short answer is no. These days, dancing is about so much more than just finding true love and that doesn’t need to change anytime soon. There’s simply nothing wrong with moving your feet for no purpose but to enjoy yourself and have a good time. The next time the dance floor calls, forget about conveying your ripe fertility and do your thang.