Scientists discovered that being able to pull off dance floor moves with the ease of John Travolta indicates strength and ability to produce healthy offspring.
Researchers found that the men who women said looked attractive on the dance floor are actually physically stronger than those who are considered to have two left feet. This in turn indicates an ability to have strong children.
Researchers recorded video clips of 40 heterosexual male students dancing to the drum track of the Robbie Williams song Let Me Entertain You.
They found those whose moves were rated attractive and assertive by members of the opposite sex were physically stronger than the others whose gyrations were below par.
Information about the participants’ clothing, their looks and body shape which could have produced bias was disguised by getting them to all wear white overalls.
Hand grip strength was also measured, according to the study published in New Scientist magazine.
Twenty-five female students then viewed the videos and rated the dancers for attractiveness while another 25 judged their assertiveness.
Even after controlling for body weight there were strong correlations between strength scores and both perceived attractiveness and assertiveness.
Dr Bernhard Fink, an anthropologist of Gottingen University in Germany, said: “We already know women use static cues such as facial and bodily characteristics in their assessments of men.
“This study shows dynamic cues such as dancing ability might also be used to assess male quality in terms of strength and dominance – traits which eventually signal status.”
The findings, also published in Personality and Individual Differences, show why uncoordinated men with two left feet and the dance floor prowess of Mr Bean can struggle to attract women.
It was Charles Darwin who first suggested dance was part of courtship rituals – something confirmed in nightclubs every weekend.