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Scientists Explain Why Women Are Good Dancers

Update Date: Feb 12, 2017 12:36 PM EST

Researchers unravel the mystery behind how a woman's dancing can cause people to turn heads on the dance floor. By using motion-capture technology to record a young woman's dancing to a drum beat, scientists at Northumbria University have discovered the secret to good dancing. Researchers said it's all in the hips.

The study was published in the journal of Scientific Reports. The study is the first of its kind, where evolutionary biologists filmed 39 women aged between 18 and 30 dancing to a simple drum beat for 30 seconds. Their movements were captured by a dozen cameras.

The Sun reported that the researchers rendered the movement patterns as computer avatars. They removed all physical features before showing 200 people the video. They watched and rated the 15-second dance clip, 57 of the 200 volunteers were men.

According to Fox News those who got higher scores for their dancing showed three types of movement. Those with greater hip swing, more asymmetric movements of the thighs and intermediate levels of arm movement got more attention.

Dr Nick Neave, researcher and associate professor of psychology at Northumbria University, said dance moves have two functions for women. One is to show off their reproductive quality and their hormonal status to males.

Another is to show off how good they are to their female rivals. Asymmetric limb movements in women could also signal good motor control. Feminine traits tend to enhance attractiveness, and dance moves may help men identify fertile females.

Dr. Neave said "When you look at males and females walking, the key difference is, males have this shoulder swing and females have this hip swing."

Six years ago the researchers conducted a similar study but with men. They found women rated male dancers higher that showed larger and more variable movements of the head, neck and torso. Males that showed speed of leg movements, particularly bending and twisting of the right knee got most of the female's attention.

Dr Neave said "Men are showing off their strength when they dance, and mainly to other men, whereas women are displaying their femininity."

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