What women want on the dance floor, according to science

From The Washington Post:

A group of evolutionary biologists looked at the science of bump and grind, and say they have figured out exactly which dance movements catch a woman’s eye.

Researchers at Northumbria University and the University of Gottingen wanted to know what women look for in a dancing partner, since “dancing ability, particularly that of men, may serve as a signal of mate quality.” But isolating specific dance moves is difficult – facial attractiveness, body shape and even perceived socioeconomic status play a role in how people judge the dancing ability of their peers.

They found that women rated dancers higher when they showed larger and more variable movements of the head, neck and torso. Speed of leg movements mattered too, particularly bending and twisting of the right knee. In what might be bad news for the 20% of the population who is left-footed, left knee movement didn’t seem to matter. In fact, certain left-legged movements had a small negative correlation with dancing ability, meaning that dancers who favored left leg motion were rated more poorly. While not statistically significant, these findings suggest that there might be something to that old adage about “two left feet” after all. One final surprise – arm movement didn’t correlate with perceived dancing ability in any significant way.