Dancing is art and is often a mating call. So, people go out, they dance, move their body in “sexy” ways and attempt to attract mates. On the premise that dancing is an art, researchers went to find out, scientifically, what makes it sexy. Humor aside, what do you think about this in context to our class discussions?

Can an artful mating call be reduced to women liking men who use a lot of space and move their upper bodies?

Psychologists at Northumbria University in Newcastle, the U.K., say they have used avatars shimmying to computer-generated dance sequences to pinpoint the moves most likely to win over women, reports LiveScience.

They recruited 19 men between the ages of 18 and 35 to bob to a German dance track while reflectors attached to the men’s clothing recorded their moves. The psychologists then used the motions logged by the reflectors to craft avatars – the same method the makers of Lord of the Rings employed to create the character Gollum, if you’re wondering – and then asked several dozen heterosexual women to rate the avatars. By having women watch 15-second snippets of faceless white creatures rather than actual men, the reasoning goes, the psychologists weeded out possible prejudices that might creep in because of physical attractiveness. (Because women are never prejudiced by looks in real life.)

The results, which appear in the online edition of the Royal Society’s Biology Letters, aren’t what you’d guess. The pelvis gets surprisingly short shrift. Instead, the researchers say, the difference between a bad dancer and good dancer comes down to the neck, torso, and right knee. Women tend to be drawn to men who move their upper bodies, use a lot of space, and vary their movements.

Fun Fact: Jeff and Shaowen did research this summer at the same University from where the sexy dancing project took place.

At Last, Science Figures Out The Keys to Sexy Dancing
Motion-capture technology allows an objective analysis of which dance moves are most attractive