The Economist has an article on what particular dance moves are the most attractive to females – and it looks like being left-handed is a (hopefully slight) disadvantage!
The motion-capture data were used to animate a humanoid avatar that was featureless and gender-neutral. Heterosexual women were then asked to judge the quality of the dancing. The results, published in Biology Letters, were intriguing: the most attractive movements were those that had â€œvariability and amplitudeâ€ in the head, neck and trunk.
Dr Neave explains that humans move in three planes. You can nod your head backwards and forwards, side to side or twist your neck to look over a shoulder. The women rated big movements in these three planes for both the head and the trunk as the most attractive. However, there was an additional factor, says Dr Neave.
Headbanging (sorry, MotÃ¶rhead fans) was simply not attractive: although it would show a large amplitude of movement in one plane it would not show the variability of movement that seems to appeal to women. Choreographers have told Dr Neave that movements in these three planes comes from strength and suppleness, so they would help to indicate a genetically fit male.
One curiosity was that, statistically, the speed of movement of the right knee also appeared to be important in signalling dance quality. Dr Neave, however, believes this may simply result from 80% of men being right footed, and so tending to place more weight on their left foot in order to demonstrate leg-waggling prowess with the right one.