Is the way you dance written in your DNA? - What does the way you dance say about you? Or more specifically, what does it reveal about the quality of your genes - your 'fitness' as a potential mate? It's a question that's obsessing cognitive psychologist Dr Peter Lovatt and his team at the University of Hertfordshire. But now he thinks he's come up with the perfect experiment to test the links between genes, physical attraction and dance. A former professional dancer, Peter Lovatt has put together a series of short videos demonstrating subtly different styles. By varying both the scale and complexity of the moves (and blurring his own features to rule out the influence of factors like hair or eye colour), he believes he's developed a model to which men can compare themselves, and crucially, by which women can rate them.
Bah and, indeed, humbug. My goodwyf, who for the purposes of this little article I'll refer to "historian Dr Natalie Higgins", concluded that "good dancers need not apply". In her study of marriage in the 1930s and 1950s, dancing was one of the most popular leisure activities. However, women who selected their husbands on the basis of their dancing skills generally had a rotton time. Good dancers were peacocks who made bad, or even abusive, husbands. The chaps who hung around the edges of the dancefloor looking embarrassed were, on the other hand, much more likely to make decent, hard-working, caring husbands. Note to self: Get Natalie's thesis out of Word and into HTML and on the web.