LIFESTYLE

How To Be The Best Dancer In The Club, According To Science

22/02/2017 08:09 SAST | Updated 22/02/2017 11:27 SAST
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Next time you're on a night out, be sure to channel your inner Shakira.


New research has identified the moves that make women a "good dancer" in the eyes of others and it seems success is all in the hips.


The study, conducted by the University of Northumbria, found that women who displayed a high level of "hip-swinging" wowed the crowds far more than those who kept their hips still.


It also found that an "intermediate" use of asymmetric thigh and arm movements were deemed impressive by both men and other women.


The researchers, who have previously studied the best dance moves for men, created fun graphics detailing the best and worst moves for women.


Apparently, this is what it takes to be a "good" female dancer:




To conduct the experiment, 39 women aged between 18 and 30 were recorded dancing and turned into avatars, so their appearance or clothes did not influence results.


The clips were then shown to a group of more than 200 heterosexual men and women, who were asked to rate each avatar on a scale between one and seven for their dancing ability.


The researchers found men and women were in "very strong agreement" about which avatars represented "good" and "bad" dancers.


At the less desirable end of the scale, those who remained rigid or took hip, leg and arm movements too far were named bad dancers.


This poor avatar was given the label of shame:




The study, published in the journal Nature, suggests dancing plays an integral role in how we judge each other, particularly when we're looking for a potential partner.


"Dance has been found in every human culture studied, serves no immediate survival function, and is frequently expressed in courtship contexts," the study says.


"Accordingly, dance is of interest to researchers working on the evolutionary significance of human behaviour because it appears to function, at least in part, as a human courtship display that can serve to attract potential partner.


"Heterosexual male raters might be evaluating the dancers in terms of their potential as partners, while heterosexual female raters might be assessing the dancers in terms of their potential as competitors."


Speaking to the MailOnline, lead author Dr Nick Neave said hip-swinging may have been labelled as a sign of "good" female dancing as it allows women to "display their femininity".


"By moving your arms and legs asymmetrically you are displaying high level motor control and lack of neurological dysfunction," he added.


"If you can move your limbs independently, slightly out of phase and with different gestures and flourishes then you are showing of a high level of motor control and also perhaps flair, intelligence and creativity."


The research follows a previous study conducted by the university in 2010, which analysed what makes a good and bad dancer.


The highest rated male dancers displayed a range of upper body movement, including neck tilts.


Watch the video below to see what makes a "good" male dancer.