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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fast Dancing Guys - Research

Being a rather typical, overly self-conscious high school male, I sat out the fast songs at teen dances. I think most teenage males have a fear of displaying particularly "ugly" moves while fast dancing, or, perhaps their fragile egos do not want to risk being judged by others as "sissy." I've always loved music, and now I see that dancing is a personal expression of that love, and no one is really judging your boogie ability.

Anyway, after high school, I learned through experience that girls loved to fast dance with guys even if the man showed only a trace of rhythm on the dance floor. So quickly I turned from a "sit out the fast ones" guy to a "shake it while you can" advocate.

Besides, I always joked, "Show me a man who looks good on the dance floor, and I will show you a woman." No gender mashing intended -- in fact, my rallying call for males to fast dance was the following: "Just get on the floor and move without worrying about others." While fast dancing, men are pretty much just an accessory of accompaniment for pretty, graceful women. I thought they should be in a full support mode.

But, now comes word from a study published in the Royal Society journal, Biology Letters, that psychologists in England say they've identified specific male dance moves that really matter. And the body parts they highlight aren't necessarily what women think they're looking for -- or at. In fact, Northumbria University psychologists say, it's the left wrist and the right knee, as well as the head and the trunk that women consider. ("Scientists Identify Sexy Dance Moves," CNN, September 8 2010)

For the study, scientists filmed 19 men dancing, then mapped their moves with avatars. Then, 35 heterosexual women rated the attractiveness of the dancing, without the distraction of whether the dancer himself was good-looking. (As if this is going to be entirely ignored by women!)

"Good" dancers did wider and bigger movements of the head, neck and torso, and did faster bending and twisting movements of their right knee (greater movements of the right knee rather than the left were to be expected, as 80 percent of the dancers favored their right leg).

In contrast, "bad" dancers tended to be stiff and plod -- and throwing their arms around was no substitute for fast, variable movement of the central body region. ("Revealed: The Right Moves For Men On the Dance Floor,", September 8 2010) I might have guessed this outcome for "bad" dancing stiffs.

Psychologist Nick Neave said, "We now know which area of the body females are looking at when they are making a judgment about male dance attractiveness. If a man knows what the key moves are, he can get some training and improve his chances of attracting a female through his dance style."

Why these body parts? Neave and his team think head, trunk, wrist and knee movements show how healthy, vigorous and strong a man is -- and thus reveal his "reproductive quality." ("Scientists Identify Sexy Dance Moves," CNN, September 8 2010)

Neave believes these are all part of a classic mating quest for the "right" genetic material, which is why the dance floor mimics courtship arenas among animals where the male struts his stuff.

Video of dance moves:

Never would I have dreamed that these joint movements were so attractive to women. In fact, I was under the impression (gleaned from research on what women look at in men) that a man's buttocks are his tool of attraction. Or, in much gentler findings, that women find satisfaction deep in the eyes of men. Well, the good news for most men is that "productive quality" is not judged by bulges in the nether regions.

So, fellows, please fast dance. Maybe apply a little Bengay with the built-in massaging nubs or some other analgesic cream to those joints before stepping onto the dance floor. Get your head, trunk and knees going with the beat and display your great "genetic material" for the ladies. Who knows? Maybe you will be the next John Travolta.

And, girls, now that we know what you are really looking for, we men will strengthen the real vital areas of our bodies. Jukin' those joints is "where it's at." At least if you are an avatar.

Check out this guy:

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