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What Your Dance Moves Say About You

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What Your Dance Moves Say About You

The mashed potato, the hustle, the running man–you may think your funky chicken is just some fun cutting-the-rug, but scientists claim that there’s more to your windmill arms than meets the eye.

Dr Geoff Luck of the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland, leader of the research, said: “Music is known to evoke strong emotions in people and emotions can be expressed through bodily movement. People use body motions as reliable indicators of others’ personality types, and even the movements of robots have been shown to elicit attributes of ‘personality’ by observers.”

Dr Peter Lovatt, a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire, said dancing and movement transmit messages about the way people are feeling and thinking, which has its routes deep in our evolutionary history. He adds, “There is a common train of thought that dancing is related to sexual selection and is part of the mate selection process.”

The researchers poured over the dance moves of 60 volunteers who had been selected from 900 people who underwent personality tests. The dancers were picked due to having strong scores in one of the five main personality traits being studied. Each of the volunteers were asked to dance to 30 different tracks from six different genres of music rock, techno, Latin, jazz, funk and pop.

Next: What the researchers found

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.

137 comments

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12:28AM PDT on Sep 21, 2013

Mostly it says that you've taken lessons or you haven't.

12:06AM PDT on Sep 21, 2013

interesting

1:05PM PDT on Jun 28, 2013

I can be all of the above depending on the mood, the level of intoxication and the folks I am dancing with.

7:17PM PDT on Jun 16, 2013

I think dance should just be fun and not analyzed as to the type of personality it expresses!
We analyze too many things in this society--esp. too many trivial things or maybe not enough of the really important ones. As long as you don't take this too seriously, esp. if you are labeled neurotic. I am not in this analysis, but some people may not want to give away that little secret.

12:21PM PDT on Jun 16, 2013

My dance moves tell me and others I'm getting old....I always seem to be stuck in one position and walk around in that position for the next few days. Thanks for the article!

6:22PM PDT on Jun 1, 2013

Thanks

2:16AM PDT on Apr 27, 2012

Interesting, thank you.

5:35PM PDT on Apr 25, 2012

Fun!

10:11AM PDT on Apr 25, 2012

interesting.

8:37AM PDT on Apr 25, 2012

interesting, but don't find myself described here.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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