A Canadian study has shown that terrible dancing is not just something that happens when men procreate, you may well just be a sufferer of ‘beat deafness’.
The researchers from McGill University and the University of Montreal tested a group of people by getting them to tap at regular intervals. This posed no problems for any of them but when music was played in the background, two of the volunteers struggled to keep in time. Similarly when asked to follow a metronome which changed speed, the two beat deafness sufferers could not keep up. Rather than being bad at dancing, the study reports, they simply physically cannot distinguish different rhythms.
If you are an archetypal dad dancer you might like to excuse yourself with the medical theory put forward by Caroline Palmer, a psychology professor from McGill University who explains, “The types of mistakes that beat-deaf individuals made indicated deficits in biological rhythms, including the natural frequencies or rates at which the internal oscillations pulsed, and how long it took them to respond to the new metronome tempo”
You don’t have to understand it to use it to explain your abject flailing at the next family wedding reception. You have “deficits in biological rhythms” – you might be able to get a blue badge for that.
For help with mixing things up on the dance floor, another study has suggested some moves you might like to bust in order to impress. Or at least not horrify as much.
Remember, it is a medical condition. You’re a hero for struggling through it.