Space & Innovation

Do Humans Have Mating Dances?

Dance is often associated with romance, but can it actually make us feel closer? And why do we even dance in the first place?

We humans are outclassed by the animal world in most physical activities. We can't run as fast as a cheetah, we don't swim as well as a dolphin, and we sure can't brachiate properly. But there is one arena in which we humans really do excel: We can dance if we want to.

Scientists from dozens of different disciplines have investigated dancing over the years, trying to determine why we human are so partial to this species-specific activity. We know a few things: Dancing can promote feelings of intimacy, elevate mood levels, and even serve as a kind of sexual advertising in some cultures and circumstances. Trace Dominguez has the details, plus some excellent "Footloose" references, in today's DNews dispatch.

Thanks to our sponsor Kay Jewelers for supporting DNews!

Read More:

Scientific American: Why do we like to dance--And move to the beat?

NY Times: Why Music Makes Our Brain Sing

The Guardian: Rhythm without the blues: how dance crazes make us feel a step closer