by Brandon Mercer

(CBS SF) — Why they researched this is definitely subject to stereotypical snap judgments, but what they learned could get these researchers — and you — the girl. Scientists from Northumbria University in England and the University of Göttingen in Germany mapped men’s moves, and had women rate their reaction, uncovering up to 11 types of movement that women found attractive.

The authors write, “We suggest that such movements may form honest signals of male quality in terms of health, vigour or strength, though this remains to be confirmed.”

They used 39 women to analyze the dances of 19 men, motion-tracking their movements and translating them to computer animation with a 12-camera “Vicon” system so women didn’t just the actual features of the men, like eye color, hair, clothing, or skin. They could only see the dance moves through an animation captured from sensors.

They discovered the amount of movement of the neck and trunk and the speed of movement of the right knee (apparently, the left knee doesn’t matter much) were what was most critical, and then they found more dance moves using those attributes.

More specifically women were into
• head nodding
• forward and backward bending
• sideways bending
• tilting your head sideways
• shaking your head (careful on which signals you’re sending though!)
• twisting your upper body or “trunk”
• moving your legs quickly
• and most of all — the speed of bending and twisting the right knee (Anyone up for the Twist?)

“A ‘good’ dancer thus displays larger and more variable movements in relation to bending and twisting movements of their head/neck and torso, and faster bending and twisting movements of their right knee,” write the authors.

If you’re into scientific studies, and want to see specifics on the 11 factors, here’s the full report.


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