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So You Think You Can Dance?

Tired of embarrassing yourself at all the parties with the wrong dance moves? If you’ve got two left feet, read on to find out how you can transform yourself into the ultimate dancer – or at least not look like a total putz out there on the dance floor.

If you’ve ever seen the movie Hitch, you might remember the scene where Will Smith’s character, Hitch, tries to teach ultra nerd Albert how to dance. While Hitch bags Albert for his outlandish dances and teaches him ultra safe moves, there are actually pros and cons to both guy’s moves. Watch the clip and then find out what each guy has going for him.

What Albert is doing wrong:

  • His arms have a life of their own.
  • The moves are a little dated and internalized.

What Albert is doing right:

  • He is getting his whole body involved, including his head, neck and upper body.
  • He’s not afraid to get down!

What Hitch’s moves lacks:

  • Extremely repetitive.
  • Shows very little personality.

What Hitch brings to the party:

  • This is a great starter move – use it as a home base.
  • Good eye contact – not at all internalized.

Key features for good dancers include the following:

  • The head
  • The neck
  • The upper body

Turns out, there is a bit of science behind which dance moves work, and which ones just don’t. In a study published by The Guardian– “Scientists identify moves that make men irresistible on the dance floor” it was found that, “Men who were judged to be good dancers had a varied repertoire and more moves that involved tilting and twisting the torso and neck.

"It's rare that someone is described as a good dancer if they are flinging their arms about but not much else," said Nick Neave, a psychologist at the University of Northumbria, who led the study.

"The head, neck and upper body come out as the key features that are important for good dancing and that surprised us," said Neave, whose study is published in the journal Biology Letters. "When you see brilliant dancers, you'll see their bodies, heads and necks are all doing ever so slightly different things in time to the music."

Here are 5 Tips to Look Better on the Dance Floor:

  • Externalize! Don’t, whatever you do, look at your feet! You’re not going to step on anyone’s toes, and even if you do, it’s not a big deal. Eye contact and an air of confidence go a long way. If you can’t seem to find your confidence, have a drink before you hit the floor. Be careful not to overdo it though – too many drinks and nothing will save you from being a fool on the dance floor.
  • Slow it down. If the beat is too fast for you to keep your motions fluid, try dancing to every other beat.
  • Watch your elbows – If they’re not by your side, they are likely doing a dance of their own! Keep elbows low, and nearish to your sides. Arms should be loose, and away from your chest – not shrugged up like a T-Rex.
  • Find a home base – Use the dance Hitch shows Albert for when you simply don’t know what else to do. Finding a move that you can do comfortably will help you get through moments where you’re not sure what to do. Just make sure and break free from your home base regularly.
  • Practice your spins – Spins are one of the easiest moves to master, and they let everyone know you are having fun. Practice some spins at home making sure you can move from your home base move to your spin, and back to home base again smoothly; fluidity of movement is a hallmark of a good dancer.
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Ben Davis

About Ben Davis

A serial entrepreneur, Ben Davis is founder of The Gents Place and a leading investor in gentlemen's refinement and confidence.

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