Holly Williams: No manual could improve a man's dancing after seven pints

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So scientists have unlocked the secrets of sexy dance moves. Excuse that snorting sound you hear; that will be the scepticism of any woman who has spent more time on a dance floor than in a lab.

Sorry chaps, but a manual can't help you here. Any man who reveals turning cogs while attempting to throw shapes is doomed to fail.

In British nightclubs, with confidence bolstered (but co-ordination unimproved) by seven pints and a tequila slammer, dancing try-hards usually end up looking more David Brent than Justin Timberlake.

Dancing is not an occasion for thinking too much. It's about animal attraction and spontaneous chemistry, which is one reason why men with obvious routines deserve to fail.

All this talk of "key dance moves" conjures up images of Saturday Night Fever, while the vigorous head and trunk thrusting calls to mind clucking chickens.

And no, ironic dance moves aren't sexy either. That the video of supposedly good dancing shows a man nearly doing the 1990s "big-fish little-fish cardboard-box" hand sequence is very, very worrying. Where did they find these women?

The research also ignores proximity. While some clubs resemble meat markets or Year Nine discos, where we eye each other from the sidelines before pouncing, it's more common to be flung into a sweaty morass and do the best you can. It's the fine line between dancing near and with a stranger that's crucial. Who cares about the speed of their right knee when it's out of view?

And anyway, too much confidence isn't such a desirable thing. I remember dancing cheek-to-cheek once with a guy, when he whispered in my ear that we were the "best thing on the floor". Yeuch! Yes, he had exceedingly good neck control; yes, he could twizzle me about in time with the music, but his smugness rather ruined it. Give me sweetly shy shuffling any day.

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