Every once in a while, science pulls through and gives us something that we truly need. For instance, a group of psychologists in the UK went through an exhaustive scientific study to find out which dance moves are the sexiest. Yay science!
The psychologists recruited 39 female college students to dance to a song from British pop artist Robbie Williams. The moves were recorded using motion-capture technology, and then plugged into a digital avatar. That avatar was used to ensure that heterosexual men and women rating each dancer judged them by their dance moves and not by their body type or other attributes.
The study then published the results in Scientific Reports, which had previously reported on the best dance moves for men. According to the two studies, the best moves for men centralise on the upper body, whereas the best moves for women rely on the hips, thighs, and arms.
According to the researchers, bigger swings of the hips coupled with asymmetrical leg movements (moving the legs differently from each other) were the big hitters in dance moves. Arm movements were preferably kept at a medium level. The researchers suggest that these motions are preferred because they are an indicator of the health and femininity of the dancer. Hip swinging is evidently an “emphatically feminine trait” that might be a cue for fertility. Moving your arms independently of what the rest of your body is doing might demonstrate good motor control “so long as this limb independence does not verge into uncontrolled pathological movement.”
Dancing isn’t always about fertility, however, and the study recognizes that there is a strong cultural element here as well. “Dance is strongly influenced by culture, so there may be some cultural difference in specific moves or gestures,” says Nick Neave, co-author of the study. “So the basic idea that dance moves are able to convey honest information about the reproductive qualities of the dancer in question appears sound.” Whatever the case may be, don’t worry about getting your freak on, you’re just being evaluated for your reproductive potential.