July 13, 2024


Iin his early 20s, Prince William was often seen stumbling out of nightclubs after a night of grooving. But now, as if a clock had struck 12, it appears that this juvenile scam has turned into something altogether more cringeworthy: dad dancing.

In a viral video captured during a Taylor Swift concert, the heir to the throne was filmed with his arms up, chest flashing rapidly – and somewhat stiffly – to the beat.

At Glastonbury this weekend, tens of thousands of men will also “shake it off” in a similarly energetic manner.

While scientific studies have confirmed that older men do indeed dance differently than their younger counterparts—and may have evolved as a way to signal their declining biological fitness—experts argue that dad dancing should be celebrated, not planned, for the numerous benefits it can bring. bring.

“When I look at Prince William dancing, I just see someone smiling, he’s happy, and dancing does those wonderful things,” said Dr. Peter Lovatt (AKA Dr Dance), the head of dance psychology at Movement in Practice and author of The Dance Cure.

“We know that dancing is really good for social bonding, and that when people dance together, they report liking and trusting each other more. Even when you’re dancing with strangers, you get that impact of greater trust and familiarity.”

Prince William does the Rusty Robot. Photo: X.com

Lovatt became interested in the phenomenon of dad dancing after several studies suggested that the way people groove and boogie is influenced by their hormones, with women viewing men exposed to high levels of testosterone in the womb as more attractive and masculine. considered dancers.

Skeptical of such claims, Lovatt began bringing people into his lab and testing them himself. He even temporarily moved his laboratory to a night club and took short video samples of hundreds of people dancing, as well as tested their hormone exposures, and then asked other people to rate their movements for attractiveness, dominance, masculinity and femininity.

“What we found was that, in both men and women, the way people moved was influenced by their hormonal and genetic makeup, and when people watched other people dance, their ratings of their attractiveness differed as a function of the way they move,” Lovatt said.

Men with high testosterone usually coordinate larger movements in different parts of their body, making their outlines more interesting, and break up the rhythm of the music, rather than dancing firmly to the beat.

Separate research, by Dr Nick Neave at Northumbria University, found that young women rated men as good dancers if they had a varied repertoire and more movements that tilt and twist the torso and neck – although most men show highly repetitive movements that involve their arms and involve legs, but not the rest of their bodies.

Such studies may indicate that human dance has a similar role to the elaborate courtship dances who use certain birds and animals to attract a mate. “Maybe when we’re in our youth and our prime, we’re communicating something about how great our hormones and our genes are,” Lovatt said, comparing the aging male to a brown apple in the middle of a bowl of fruit. .

Some studies suggest that human dance plays a role similar to the elaborate courtship dances of certain birds. Photo: drferry/Getty/iStockphoto

“It has been suggested that as we get older, we show the fact that we are perhaps less fertile, less attractive and less than ideal mates through the way we dance.”

Yet he feels uncomfortable reducing the evolutionary significance of dance to this single factor. In addition to boosting familiarity and confidence, other studies have suggested that improvised dance – or “groovy moving” – also changes the way we think and solve problems.

Lovatt said: “We know that anxiety and depression are associated with being stuck in negative thought patterns, and when people participate in dance, those negative thoughts are disrupted for a while. There is an uplift in their mood and they break away from those fixed thought patterns.”

For Dr Ian Blackwell, a visiting lecturer at Plymouth Marjon University and the organizer of the World Dad Dance Championships, the examination of William’s dance is a reflection of how society still expects men to conform, rather than express themselves. not to push. “It’s unfortunate that when a father gets up to move, it has negative connotations – it’s embarrassing for him and the kids, it’s embarrassing for the public.

“We know the value of dance for health, well-being and making friends. This is something we should celebrate.”

Despite further research by Lovatt suggesting that some men avoid dancing for fear of being judged, men’s confidence in their dancing ability usually grows as they age – and once they reach their mid-60s, “it goes through the roof”.

Robin Woods, from Devon, was crowned World Dad Dance Champion at Dadfest last year. Photo: Roy Riley

The ruling World Dad Dance Champion, Robin Woods, a father of three from Paignton in Devon, said he was not shy about sharing his triumph on Facebook. “I think the people who know me from when I went out a lot – and always ended up on the dance floor – were happy that I was finally recognized,” he laughed.

“It’s a fun thing—it’s not a serious thing—and that’s why it’s good that I make fun of myself.”

Woods, who describes his usual dance style as “freestyle” with influences from James Brown and Michael Jackson, wasn’t even sure what dad dancing entailed when he entered the competition, which is judged by children and takes place every September at DadFest in Devon do not have.I just assumed it would be a bit more enthusiastic and amateurish than regular dancing – so, I just went for it and exaggerated everything I did.”

He claimed the title after a fierce dance-off with two other finalists who performed to Mr Brightside by The Killers and Baby Shark by Pinkfong.

Blackwell said that while the clip of William’s dance was too short to judge whether he had a chance to win, “he would be most welcome to come to DadFest in September so we can see the full range of his moves and or he got a decent Lawn Mower Starter, Big Fish, Little Fish, John Travolta or Lasso.

A visual guide to pa dancing

The ruling World Dad Dance ChampionRobin Woods, demonstrates some classic moves to get men dancing – plus one of his own.

The lawnmower starter is all in the arm whips. Photo: Roy Riley/The Guardian

Lawn Mower Starter

Clamp your front foot to an imaginary gasoline lawnmower, then whip your arm and clenched fist upward repeatedly, as if trying to start the machine.

The Rusty Robot: think Tin Man. Photo: Roy Riley/The Guardian

Quiet robot

As the body-popping robot moves, but rusts, it internationally recognized pa dance movement involves mimicking the mechanical movements of a faulty Tin Man robot.

The Jackhammer requires a wide stance. Photo: Roy Riley/The Guardian

Jackhammer

Imagine you are a miner bent over a pneumatic drill, and push your arms up and down to the beat of the drums.

Woods breaks away from the standard dad moves with the Dad Dip, his own invention. Photo: Roy Riley/The Guardian

Father Dip

One of Wood’s own inventions, this award-winning move involves leaning back and landing on one hand, then pushing yourself back up and landing on the other. “I’ve been doing this for years,” Woods said. “Maybe I just discovered that I can do it without falling over again.”

Baby Shark: the toddlers’ favorite. Photo: Roy Riley/The Guardian

Baby Shark

A dance for the whole family to do – doo doo, doo doo, doo doo. It involves imitating the movements of baby, mommy, daddy, grandma and grandpa sharks as they go swimming.



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