By Izzy Cumming-Bruce
Recent research conducted by the Universities of Northumbria and Gottingen has shown that hip-hop mastermixer Nelly might just have been on to something when he exclaimed the need for males to “shake ya tail feather” in order to attract lady companions.
The study, which was published a fortnight ago, asked 19 men aged 18 to 35 who were not professional dancers to dance in a laboratory for one minute to a basic drum rhythm. They filmed the men’s movements with a dozen keenly trained cameras, and then turned those movements into computer- generated avatars, meaning that it was only the lads’ funky moves and not their appearances that were on display.
These videos were then screened to 37 “sexy mamas” in order to find out which moves flicked their metaphorical switches. The compelling results showed that in almost all cases the women found themselves attracted to those blokes that displayed “wide and varied moves” with particular emphasis on “the head, neck and torso” and, bizarrely, “deft movements of the right knee.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly the dance moves that received the highest ratings from the gals, the videos of which can be watched on YouTube, seemed to combine the hip-twisting antics of Elvis with more subtle movements associated with, amongst others, Justin Timberlake.
Crucial to the success of these two types of move, according to Dr Nick Neave who headed the experiment, is that they entail keeping the feet in a fixed position and use the hips, arms and neck to create movement. This was beneficial as it allowed women to more easily focus on “the area we know females look to for signs of reproductive capacity”.
In other words by limiting movement around the dance floor men allow their potential lovers to get a better look at their “junk.” That said, the success of Elvis does not lie purely in his finding and owning a section of the stage or dance floor. Indeed once they’ve got your slice of the club, would-be John Travoltas should aim to make their moves appear to be “high energy” or, to use a Hebrew phrase, they’ll need some chutzpah.
There seem to be two reasons why girls prefer high-energy boys. Firstly, if researcher Kristophor McCarty is to be believed, highly kinetic dancing with movements of the neck and torso attracts the fairer sex as it simply makes them stand out from the crowd: a lively jiver with large actions will catch the attention of more ladies compared to a corpse-like swayer and therefore increase the chances of scoring.
Secondly, the speed and tenacity with which a man dances effectively shows ladies his ability (or lack thereof) to be a healthy and energetic lover: “high energy dance movements are signals of a man’s reproductive quality,” suggests McCarty, “if you know your moves you reveal good health, vigor or strength.”
It will come as little shock that the least attractive dancers are those who walk limply through the dance floor leaving their necks and booties unutilised, the kind of moves made famous by Steve Martin “dancing like a white guy” in “The Jerk”.
So to conclude, when that beautiful babe of your dreams bites her lip and says in an uber-sexy, gruff, Meg Ryan voice “You wanna dance?” follow her onto to the dance floor and find a good spot. Once in position, stand your ground and try to combine the wild gyrating, shaking and spinning of a four year old child after a six-pack of Red Bull with the cool subtlety of a young Sinatra singing “New York, New York” and wait for the magic to happen.
The good news for those of you who even after reading this scientifically proven advice and are still petrified of having a boogie is that dance ability plays second fiddle to several other factors when likely gals in nightclubs or bars are looking to find a partner. Appearance, fashion choice and (weirdly enough!) personality are all very important. So even if you can’t shake it like the proverbial Polaroid picture, there is hope for you still.