What is good dancing? Study says it's all in the hips

Credit DayDreamsGirl Getty Images

Credit DayDreamsGirl Getty Images

Speaking to the MailOnline, lead author Dr Nick Neave said hip-swinging may have been labelled as a sign of "good" female dancing as it allows women to "display their femininity".

A team of psychologists from Northumbria University in the United Kingdom studied 39 female college students while they danced to drumbeat from a Robbie Williams song.

As for why asymmetric arm and thigh movement is so appealing, consider how hard it is to pat your head and rub your stomach at the same time.

In fact, a new study has discovered just exactly how a woman should dance if she hopes to appear sexy and attractive - the secret is to swing your hips and let the movement flow freely through your arms and legs.

The research also found that more asymmetric thigh movements were rated highly.

The main difference between what the sexes find hot seems to be that men are more interested in arm movements and women want to see some action in the legs.

"It is very likely that the unconscious signals can be altered by better training, focusing attention onto certain movements and gestures, but this can only take you so far".

For the small study, 39 heterosexual females between 18 and 30 years old were recorded using 3D motion-capture as they danced to a basic beat.

The researchers suggested that the reasons these traits are so attractive is that hip swing is feminine and the ability to move limbs asymmetrically (that is, independently of each other) "may attest to well-developed motor control".

They were then turned into avatars to disguise their features and remove the possibility of judgements on how tall, attractive or well-dressed the individuals were. Then, 57 men and 143 women were asked to rate 15-second clips of five of the avatars, without music, on a scale of 1 (bad) to 7 (good).

Male physical strength is accurately conveyed by dancing, so stronger men make better dancers, which could be an evolutionary advantage to women looking for a mate. One is to show off their reproductive quality and their hormonal status to males.

'We are trying to develop accurate methods and statistical techniques to discriminate between movements that are perceived to be "good" in dancing and walking.

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