John Travolta
A study has found John Travolta dance moves are not always successful in wooing the ladies Paramount Pictures

A study has ruled out John Travolta and David Brent-style dancing for men who hope to woo the ladies with their dancefloor repertoire.

Northumbria University has revealed men should use the top half of their body for the best chance of standing out under the disco ball.

The study, which asked male and female dancers to try different moves to identify which ones were the most appealing, conversely found it is the bottom half of dancing women that appeals to men.

Both sexes should avoid waving their arms around, ruling out embarrassing dad dances like "the aeroplane" and any dodgy David Brent impersonations.

Examiners looked at three key body regions — the central body, including neck and torso; the legs; and the arms — and found women rated male dancers higher if they performed larger, variable movements of the head, neck and torso.

Oddly, bending and twisting of the right knee can entrance women, but the same cannot be said of the left knee.

For female dancers, though, it all comes down to the hips, waist and legs.


Dr Nick Neave, of the university's psychology department, told the Sunday Times: "Dancing serves two purposes: it is advertising yourself to the opposite sex but is also used to intimidate rivals among your own sex.

"There is a very big literature on animal movements, with females picking males as their mates based on movement parameters. There has been lots of work done in deer, crabs and some primates, so we tried to look at human dance scientifically because no one else had been able to do it."