What dance moves make a woman sexy? Here are answers backed by science.

A team of psychologists from Northumbria University in the United Kingdom studied 39 female college students while they danced to drumbeat from a Robbie Williams song. Their interest in the subject was piqued by the role of dance in human attraction and mating.

What Makes Female Dance Sexy

“[Dance] appears to function, at least in part, as a human courtship display that can serve to attract potential partners,” the researchers said in the study published in the journal Scientific Reports, hoping to understand what constitutes good dancing and therefore its evolutionary function.

Motion-capture technology recorded the dance moves, and the team then mapped them onto a digital avatar that ensured the subjects were rated according to their moves, not some other attribute like body type.

The same team previously assessed the most attractive dance moves among males, which turned out to be upper-body moves. The best moves for women, on the other hand, were centralized in the hips, thighs, as well as arms.

Study judges gave higher marks to dances that involved bigger hip swings, as well as asymmetrical movements of legs and medium range of asymmetric arm motions. According to the team, these preferences may clue in on the dancer’s health as well as femininity, where hip swinging, for instance, may be used as a signal of fertility.

Cultural Differences, And Just Have Fun

How about bad dancing moves? Certain cultural differences may come into play, said author and psychology associate professor Nick Neave, but in general there could be a consensus on who is a good and bad dancer.

"So the basic idea that dance moves are able to convey honest information about the reproductive qualities of the dancer in question appears sound," he added in a PopSci report.

Take note, however, that while one can improve one’s dance moves, the goal of dancing remains regardless of these scientific findings: it’s to have fun, bond with friends, or attract the apple of one’s eyes.

"It is very likely that the unconscious signals can be altered by better training, focusing attention onto certain movements and gestures, but this can only take you so far. The hip movements, for example, are limited by your physique and biomechanics,” Neave said in a Vice report.

So what’s left to do but to enjoy this social activity and express one’s self with confidence?

In a 2014 study, University of Rochester researchers found that women perceive other women in red as sexual threats, with the color signaling sexual availability to both genders. This affirmed yet again that the choice of colors also plays into human mating and social cues, influencing people’s emotions and behavior.

"Our findings contribute to the literature on female sexuality, documenting a creative way that women take the initiative in the courtship process,” noted the researchers. “In addition, our findings contribute to the literature on color and behavior, showing that red plays a subtle, but powerful communicative role in the human mating game.”

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