Can women dance better than men?

What makes women attractive dancers

Traditionally, dancing and research don't have too much to do with each other. But that has changed somewhat in recent years: In Vienna there has been a science ball since 2015, and the competition "Dance your Ph.D." is very popular among young researchers.

Dancing has recently moved into the focus of a number of studies, especially from the very new evolutionary psychology. This has to do with the fact that although dancing has no direct survival function, it cannot be completely unimportant when looking for a partner - in line with the dictum that dance (or tango) is the vertical expression of a horizontal desire.

Controversial results

For example, a cover story for the journal "Nature" at the end of 2005 claimed that good male dancers had more symmetrical bodies and therefore better genes. The result could not be confirmed. Another study found a connection between the firm handshake of men and the attraction of their dance style. In addition, women would dance more attractively during their fertile days.

But what actually makes a woman's dance style attractive? There have been some studies on this question for a long time, but so far they have not produced entirely clear results. The British psychologist Kris McCarty from Northumbria University in Newcastle wanted to know exactly. For his study, which appeared in the journal "Scientific Reports", he had a total of 39 women dance to a simple rhythm in front of the camera.

Rated dance avatars

With the help of reflective markings on the robe, the researchers then created avatars that they made dance on a computer screen. This was to ensure that only the attractiveness of the movements and not that of the women were judged.

57 men and 143 women then made this assessment using Avatar dance clips: Their judgments gave quite clear indications of the attractiveness of the dance: Both men and women preferred strongly moved hips and arms. It was also nice when the thighs moved independently of each other.

Why hip movements are hip

The swing of the hips is crucial because it makes it easier to identify the gender of the person dancing, the researchers suspect. And asymmetrical movements of the limbs signal well-coordinated motor skills. (tasch, 10.2.2017)