Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Why are some men such bad dancers? They wag their arms about too much

Last updated at 11:24 PM on 7th September 2010
Dazzling a woman on the dance floor is a tricky challenge for a chap. 
Too much hip-wiggling could put her off. One hand punching the air looks a bit John Travolta. 
And overdoing it with the arm movements risks comparison with David Brent in The Office.
Bad Dancers.jpg
Now science has come to the rescue, with a move-by-move analysis of what makes a man a good dancer.And the answer? It's all in the knees.
Psychologists asked 19 young men to dance to a drum beat from a German nightclub tune. 
Their impromptu routines were recorded on special 3D cameras and then transferred onto featureless computer characters.
This allowed a panel of 35 women to judge their performances without being influenced by the dancers' looks. 
The women rated the men's ability on the dance floor and the scientific team worked out which moves had made the difference. It appears the mistake most men make is to use their arms too much. 
Three body parts emerged as most important – the neck, the torso and the right knee, according to the report in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters.
The best dancers, it seems, varied both their moves and the scale of their moves. 
Researcher Dr Nick Neave said: 'Good dancers made big and small movements. 'Variability shows creativity.
They did a little head nod with a big body twist and a big head movement from side to side, and then a big nod, a small body twist and a small head movement from side to side.' 
It is thought that such twists and turns of the neck and torso are attractive because they signal a strong, healthy and flexible body. 
Those flagging on the floor due to lack of fitness find it hard to do such moves for any length of time and so often resort to exaggerated swings and flings of their arms and legs. 
These, however, do nothing to attract women – with the exception of the right knee. Flicked in and out and twisted from side to side at speed, a nifty knee apparently catches a lady's eye. 
Dr Neave, a self-confessed 'terrible dancer' said: 'Most people are rightfooted and so non-professional dancers balance on their left leg and do fancy things with their right. 
This is the first study to show objectively what differentiates a good dancer from a bad one. Men all over the world will be interested to know what moves they can throw to attract women. 

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