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Scientists tap best lady-catching dance moves

British researchers identify eight movement variables that distinguish a Patrick Swayze from a male Elaine Benes. Surprisingly, their findings might bode well for The Sprinkler.

Not impressing her with your slick smartphone and intimate knowledge of the Duke Nukem Forever release schedule? Scientists in England say they've identified the key dance moves that make men irresistible to the ladies. And no, the King Tut isn't one of them.

Steve Wozniak on Dancing with the Stars
The scientists did not study the Woz's moves. Craig Sjodin/ABC

Not surprisingly, the dance moves considered "good" signal health, vigor, or strength--and, by association, a man's reproductive prowess, say the researchers at Northumbria University in Newcastle Upon Tyne. Their findings are published Wednesday in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters.

The researchers, led by psychologist Nick Neave and researcher Kristofor McCarty, filmed 19 male volunteers aged 18 to 35 with a 3D motion capture camera system as they boogied to a basic rhythm. Their real-life movements were then mapped onto feature-less, look-alike avatars so heterosexual women could rate their steps without being prejudiced by dimples or come-hither baby blues.

The results showed that eight movement variables made the difference between a Patrick Swayze and a male Elaine Benes. These included the size of movement of the neck, trunk, left shoulder, and wrist; the variability of movement size of the neck, trunk, and left wrist; and the speed of movement of the right knee. Yes, the right knee.

And in case you're taking notes, fellas, the women apparently appreciated large and varied neck and trunk movements. Which could bode well for The Sprinkler (assuming it's executed with some degree of rhythm and grace).

"We now know which area of the body females are looking at when they are making a judgment about male dance attractiveness," Neave said. "If a man knows what the key moves are, he can get some training and improve his chances of attracting a female through his dance style."

The team plans to carry out further research to hone its theories about dance and mating. In the meantime, men wishing to impress the gals at the nightclub might do well to study the below videos demonstrating "good" and "bad" moves. And wear red.