London, Oct 12 : John Travolta's flamboyant dance style in 'Saturday Night Fever' is of the kind that is the most attractive to women, according to a new research.
To determine which dance moves are most likely to impress female onlookers, researchers studied the freestyle dancing techniques commonly deployed by hapless men in nightclubs.
They found that highly-co-ordinated and complex dance moves, such as the point-and-shake moves employed by Travolta's character Tony Manero in the cult disco film, were deemed the most attractive while exaggerated 'dad' dancing, as demonstrated by David Brent in the television comedy series 'The Office', was the least attractive.
Another dancing style unlikely to impress a woman was 'the shuffle', where self-conscious males shift from foot to foot accompanied with the occasional uncomfortable hand-wring.
According to Dr Peter Lovatt, a psychologist of performance at Hertfordshire University, dancing in nightclubs was the modern human equivalent of courtship displays used by birds and other animals.
"It is all about how we communicate through dance. There is an evolutionary reason why we dance in a particular way - as Darwin suggested, dancing is a bit like a courtship ritual to catch the eye of a high-quality member of the opposite sex," the Telegraph quoted him, as saying.
"I wanted to examine which features of the dances we see in nightclubs make men seem more masculine, dominant or attractive," he added.
For the study, Lovatt, who was a professional dancer before he went into academia, filmed 15 short video clips of himself performing different dance moves and blurred out his physical features so that only his movements were visible.
He showed the videos to 55 women and asked them to rate how masculine, dominant and attractive each dance move was.
He found that timid dancers who shuffle from foot to foot in small movements were deemed to rate lowest for all three characteristics, while large, uncoordinated movements were also deemed unattractive but were thought to be most dominant.
Highly-co-ordinated, complex movements that were of medium size were found to be the most attractive.
Lovatt said that he hoped his work would provide some tips for those who struggle on the dance floor, whether they are teenagers or older dancers.