Psychologists in the U.K. rolled up their sleeves, put on their hip waders, and came up with the answer to a centuries-old question: What constitutes as “sexy dancing”?
The study, conducted at Northumbria University and published in Scientific Reports, recorded 39 female college students dancing to a Robbie Williams song, and captured their dance moves with motion capture technology. These dance moves were then translated to a virtual avatar, which was later viewed by heterosexual men and women, who determined the dance moves’ level of sexiness. The avatar makes the study more objective, eliminating possible biases from viewers who prefer certain shapes or body types.
Below you can see an animation of this scientifically ranked “sexy dancing,” which strongly resembles a drunk girl in a dance club:
Despite the fact that there’s dancing across all cultures, scientists aren’t sure why this phenomenon occurs. Most of the researchers in this study theorize that dancing is a mating ritual, speculating that a good dancer is someone who could potentially be a good mate:
Dance is a universal human behaviour that is observed particularly in courtship contexts, and that provides information that could be useful to potential partners.
The study suggests that mates find it more attractive when females bust out dance moves that include bigger swings of their hips and asymmetrical leg movements, which might provide some feedback on the dancer’s health and femininity. Researchers claim that despite these findings, the universality of the study is up for debate.
No matter the results, you’re probably not going to change the way you dance. But if you do, throw in some more arm swings.
[h/t Popular Science]