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Dating With Science: Nice Guys Are Better Dancers (Kind Of)

Dating With Science: Nice Guys Are Better Dancers (Kind Of)

Science Fact: Women find conscientious, agreeable men to be the best dancers (even more so than extraverts).

Explanation: Maybe you're one of those guys who just loves dancing and has no problems with it. Of course, this is a nerd site, so it's more likely that you are the guy who glares enviously at those guys from across the room, where you are standing absolutely still, lest you dance accidentally. You suspect that if you ever did try to dance, you would just just spin around pointlessly, thwacking women in the face with your ungainly flailing limbs. "Are you not entertained??" you would bellow, but nobody would hear you over all of the ambulance sirens.

Well, it turns out that extraversion alone isn't what makes someone a good dancer, and the main thing that makes women all googly-eyed is, in fact, niceness. Of course, this being science, it's a little more complicated than that. Being nice will not, in itself, cause you to be a good dancer, which you can test right now by doing the robot in front of a mirror. See? You are terrible. But read on!

The Science: Some researchers surveyed guys for the five major psychology traits (conscientiousness, agreeableness, neuroticism, openness, and extraversion), then asked them to dance around, as scientifically as possible, to this. "Pip pip cheerio," they said, because this was a British study. The researchers motion-captured the dancing, pasted it onto computer-generated avatars, and asked women to pick the best dancers. The higher a guy ranked in conscientiousness and agreeableness, the better he danced, according to the ladies. Extraverts did okay, but not as well. Guys high in neuroticism and openness (which is basically imagination) fared worse than everyone else, but not by much.

But a previous study found that risk-taking and thrill-seeking behavior were associated with better dancing, to which you might say: "Buh?? Isn't that completely the opposite of that first study? Is science just as stupid as a butt?" To which we reply: of course not. Sure, extraverts dance better than introverts, all other things being equal, but that's not the only thing women are attracted to. Any random extravert, whose only trait is not caring what people think, can roll up to a school dance and flop around arhythmically until all of the girls boo him out of the gymnasium. What they like is a combination of all this stuff. They like a guy who's outgoing enough to dance, of course, but they somehow notice your character and your friendliness in your dancing, too. Personality does count.

So What Should I Do About It?
You should dance if you're comfortable with it, and not dance if you're not, because it's not the kind of thing you're going to be able to fake. The larger point to take away from all this is that your body language winds up expressing practically everything about you anyway—heck, people can watch you for one minute and guess how rich you are from your mannerisms. Your personality comes out in almost everything you do. So you could choreograph and memorize the most perfectly sextacular dancing, but if you were thinking "Aarrgh, I am a miserable failure who fails" the whole time, girls would see right through you. If you just did your thing and were comfortable with it, you'd fare a lot better. And if you waited patiently for science to tell you precisely how to dance, then here is your answer: bounce on one knee and whip your neck around a lot.

Topics: Life
Tags: science, awkward situations, dancing, dating with science

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