How to catch someone special's attention on the dancefloor? Scientists have the answer
Scientists say the best way for men to dance to attract someone on the dancefloor is to use the top half of the body and to avoid waving the arms around
Scientists have discovered the key to making your moves a hit with the opposite sex – use the top half of the body and avoid waving your arms around "like a lunatic".
Evolutionary biologists at Northumbria University asked male and female dancers to perform different moves in front of a panel of volunteers to identify the most appealing routines.
For a man, the key is to make larger movements of the head, neck and torso. For women, the bottom half is more important.
Wild arm movements were deemed unattractive for both sexes.
"Arms seem to be an odd thing: you would think they would be very important, but they can be quite distracting," Dr Nick Neave, of the university's psychology department, told The Sunday Times.
"People who wave their arms around too much or keep them by their sides are perceived as being very strange dancers.
"There's a very fine line between not using the arms at all and waving them around like a lunatic."
The researchers discovered that dancing is not only about attracting the opposite sex but also a way to challenge and overcome potential rivals.
"Dancing serves two purposes: it is advertising yourself to the opposite sex but is also used to intimidate rivals among your own sex," said Dr Neave.
"What we found was that males and females — but much more the males — are picking up on the strength of the dancer. When people are dancing with their upper body, they are signalling strength.
"We think men are not signalling to women; they are signalling their dominance and strength to other men, and women are simply picking up on that."
The scientists also found that bending and twisting the right knee is attractive, but not the left knee.
Women are judged by both sexes on the way they move their hips, waist and legs.