I read a recent article about a study that looked at how women tended to pick mates with dance moves that accentuated the movements of the head, neck and torso
. The researchers created avatars to hide what the men actually looked like, and then let them dance. Women tended to pick the men as attractive when their dance moves with the head and torso were exuberant.
Which brings me to a recent festival I went to and observations on the mating rituals of animals and dancing people.
In the animal kingdom, many animals perform “dances” to attract their mates. The male peacock fluffs its tail and struts around in front of the female, the frigate bird puffs up his throat into a giant red balloon then waggles his head from side to side and shakes his wings, the Galapagos turtle bobs his head and bellows to find a mate.
And then we have the humans. I was at a local festival, watching one of the local bands that played music suited and beckoned for dancing to occur. If purely from an observer standpoint, this strange mating ritual can actually be confusing. It is hard to actually distinguish males and females. In the animal world, the males are usually more colorful, more beautiful. Not so in the humans. There is no difference in dress. 95 percent of the humans were wearing jeans. Hair was not necessarily different either. Girls sport shorter cuts, and then there is the occasional mullet from the guys. There was one person, who from the back looked like a female, but then when "she" turned around, it was a definitely a "he," sporting a longer do with locks that some women would be envious. And then there’s the dancing. There is really no distinction in the dance moves of each gender. There was also no distinction as to who approached who to entice them. We were standing and watching for several hours, so we got to see who was clearly trying to make the moves on strangers to get them to dance with them. Women were coming up to men, men to women. And, no, the more enthusiastic dancer did not necessarily attract the opposite sex.
Humans are clearly more complicated. Obviously, dancing is just one of many rituals we perform to show attraction to another person. But sometimes, I think the animals have it clearer and easier. I think some of my girlfriends would agree that it would be nice to know that a guy is interested in you if they flap their arms around or bellow a mating call. Then you know if they don’t do that, there’s no guessing, you move on. You don’t get a dance move, he’s just not that into you.