Hey fellas—according to this article, you can still attract the ladies by doing the running man. Check out the dancing avatars for some Hammer Time.
I’m a bit skeptical of this study. Especially this:
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.
So apparently you could flail your arms about like a squashed spider and we wouldn’t notice? Not so sure about that.
I’m inclined to say that any man who will get up and dance gets points. If he dances like either of those avatars, he gets extra points for making me laugh.
Curious to see what they decide is attractive to men, although I think I can guess. However, I might have to hit the dance floor to do further research, you know, test my hypotheses. I suspect this would work just fine:
12 thoughts on “Scientists Say Hips Don’t Lie”
Yeah, this would count as the type of evolutionary psychology I’m skeptical of. Aside from issues of study design and interpretation, a sample size of 37 doesn’t really cut it anymore. But then, that could be my male bias speaking.
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Yeah, I thought that was a pretty small sample too. I just thought the dancing avatars were hilarious. “Oh yeah, that move was HOT.” But who knows, maybe someday there will be a scientific sex dance that guys can learn to attract females. Women don’t have to do much, but men might need a special set of moves. 🙂
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Tina, I’m not at all sure if the male needs to wiggle his hips in order to attract the female. Rather, as these two fine young Irish gentlemen demonstrate, it is more a matter of showing respect and demonstrating a certain Sympatico with Nietzschean morality (see: 1min. 31sec.):
Just showed this to my friend and we’re sitting here laughing our asses off. It gets even funnier at the end as it devolves into absolute nonsense. Where do you find these things? 🙂
Where do I find these things? Well, if I were a neophyte novelist seeking a publisher, I would go online and search “Rubber Bandits Spastic Hawk”, or, if I were a sociologist studying car culture amongst young men “Rubber Bandits Horse Outside”, or one studying gang culture “Rubber Bandits Black Man”.
My vote is for “Spastic Hawk”, but “Black Man” comes in at a close second.
You’re a classy dame Tina.
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I am not convinced. If arm movement matters or not depends on the particular dance. My dancing experience is limited to African dance, but in those dances, the arm movements matter a lot. Dancing is not just moving the feet.
Dance is highly culture specific. I think if you repeat the same study in Cameroon, on Fidshi, or in Tibet, the results will be totally different. Even that dance has something to do with attracting the attention of the othere sex is a culture specific idea. In some cultures, dance is used in totally different contexts. Additionally, dance is viewed here as something visual. My experience with African dance is that the main point of it is its proprioceptive component. The dancer is his own audience, you feel an asthetic movement pattern in your body. It is not always and not primarily a visual art form. And even where it is visual (in African mask dances, for example) it is not about impressing the girls. I think these people simply don’t know what they are doing.
Thank goodness you’ve managed to provide an intelligent comment upon this piece; I failed miserably in that task myself nannus. Though perhaps it’s fair to say that proprioception plays a primary role in all dance forms and in all cultures. Dance is necessarily a form of self-pleasuring mixed with exhibitionistic and voyeuristic elements is it not?
I think that is the case, more or less, with all forms of art. It may then take other functions on top, e.g. in secular or religious ceremonies, education or whatever. Of course, dance has a special potential for an erotic dimension but it is not necessarily there. For example, many African dances are “polycentric” which means that movements of different body parts are used to produce different (visible and “feelable”) rhythms. The pelvis offers several possibilities of movement, so it can be used to produce interesting spatio-temporal patterns that one can feel. To the western observer, this might look erotic, and sometimes it is, but not necessarily so. What is happening is that dancers create patterns they can feel and which are coordinated with the auditory music, interpreting rhythmical components of the music or adding new ones. This results in the perception of very beautiful swinging patterns. It is a music-like experience, but not for the auditory sense. See also http://asifoscope.org/2013/11/28/proprioceptive-art/
In European dance, this proprioceptive component is not developed so much and in ballet, dance developed into a visual art form. The possibility of polycentric movement was also not seen. The body is used more like a stiff unit and its movement through space plays a larger role. I think the anti-carnal tradition from Plato and Neo-Platonism, the Stoa, the Gnosis, and the Christian religion might be to blame here. (I think I have to write an article on these topics…)
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“Dance is necessarily a form of self-pleasuring mixed with exhibitionistic and voyeuristic elements is it not?”
I’m inclined to agree, with the exception of ballet. Well, I suppose ballet dancers will tell me they derive pleasure in pain, so I really can’t go there!
Very interesting evolution of this topic! I’m glad you’ve gone deeper and taken this in a new direction. I’ve always assumed the Nietzschean perspective when it comes to dance, a release of animal nature which usually boils down to sex. Of course, there are many kinds of dance, and they are culture-relative and not necessarily sexual.
But as I say that, I start to question myself. What if there is a kind of sexuality to all dance but not necessarily the vulgarity that pop culture has become? Ballroom dancing in the 1800s feels about as Nietzschean as a Precious Moments figurine to me, but in that context it must have been so exciting to gaze into a lover’s eyes in public, to make light physical contact even just briefly.
What about a rain dance? Is there something sexual about that? I think there must be, but certainly none of the vulgarity I associate with Shakira’s style. Something about it has Dionysian overtones to me. A kind of earth-eroticism…which makes me smile as I’m reminded of the last part of Hariod’s video in which the Irish singer gets down and “shifts” the earth!
And African dancing? I don’t know much about this form, but as you anticipated, this seems highly erotic to me. The rhythm, as you noticed, is more prominent (very much like Native American music), and to me that seems sexual. African dancing feels primal. But it could be because I’m used to associating heavy rhythms with bumping and grinding? You mention the dancer feeling the rhythm in his body as his own audience. I think that’s an important distinction.
Ballet is a perfect contrast. What the viewer sees (ease and delicacy) is not at all what the dancer feels (which is more likely to be pain and heavy exertion, and the attempt to cover this up). This may be the one form of dance that doesn’t seem at all sexual to me. But I don’t particularly like ballet 🙂 I wonder why that is and if the disconnect of experience for the dancer has something to do with it?
The question of whether or not there is a common element of expression to all dance is something about which I have not given enough thought. Your point about ballet being primarily visual is really interesting. You should definitely write that post and expand on these topics. I’d love to read it!