Figuring out the right dance moves on a dance floor can be incredibly awkward—especially if dancing just doesn’t come naturally to you. Which direction should you swing your hips? What do you do with your hands? If you’re looking for some advice on how to kill it on the dance floor, look no further. Researchers at Northumbria University, who had previously studied attractive male dance moves, have now figured out the most attractive dance moves for women.
The researchers recorded women dancing to a basic rhythm using 3D motion capture. They created 39 avatars from these videos, analyzing their movement patterns and rating each for dance quality. The study found that three types of movement were considered high-quality dancing: greater hip swing, asymmetrical movement of the thighs and asymmetrical movement of the arms.
So what makes these moves in particular the most attractive? The researchers suggest that hip swinging tends to be a more feminine trait, and typically feminine traits tend to enhance rated attractiveness. Asymmetric movements of the arms and thighs can actually indicate high-quality motor control, as it takes some coordination to move your arms and thighs differently without getting too wild.
Scientists also say that these movements show off women’s reproductive qualities, and attractive qualities “tend to point us towards partners who can provide direct and indirect reproductive benefits.” These moves can also be used to distinguish oneself from female rivals.
As far as men go, a previous study from the same researchers found that women prefer men to make exaggerated movements in the upper body. When it comes to dance moves in men, women like movements that signal strength and vigor.
Dancing is not only a form of expression, but it’s a way for humans to court each other, as well as form friendship and bonds. These moves might catch the eye of the opposite sex, but at the end of the day, you’re free to boogie down however you want on the dance floor.