At the same time, dance research is giving us insight into a ubiquitous human phenomenon. Scientists are finding that an activity that probably started as an accident of evolution has become an important cultural force, one that gives us insight into selecting mates and tools for fostering cooperation.
“Dance is such a universal phenomenon,” says Hejmadi. “People all over the world love to dance, so there must be some reason for it.”
In my younger years, I volunteered for an international dance festival in my home town of Cornwall. Folk groups from around the world would come and perform for local audiences, telling them a little about the individual dances, the culture, etc. It always struck me as interesting how much dance played a role in social connectivity/mate selection, from these folk dances down to "my dance card is full" to, of course, the meat markets of today.
Is this a coincidence? Does human dance behaviour have anything in common with lekking? We're in the process of finding out.