Are There Differences in Experts’ and Lay Assessors’ Attractiveness Judgments of Non-Professional Men’s Dance/Gait Movements?
Research on attractiveness assessments of men’s dance has shown that raters derive and integrate information about male mating-related qualities into their attractiveness assessments, but prior studies have focused on lay assessors (i.e., individuals with no professional dance background) rather than dance experts. We recruited male and female Russian dance experts (n = 23) to judge gender-neutral, featureless virtual characters, animated with motion-captured dance movements and gaits of British men, and compared their dance assessments to those from a group of Russian male and female lay assessors (n = 73). The dance experts provided higher dance and gait attractiveness judgments than the lay assessors. Both groups judged the gait movements to be of higher attractiveness than the dance movements. Differences in attractiveness assessments between experts and lay assessors were larger for the male judges than for the female judges. In an additional survey, the dance experts (versus lay assessors) placed greater emphasis on the importance of dance-related capacities and skills. We discuss our findings with reference to past research on dance/gait attractiveness as assessed by lay judges and the role of expertise in assessing body movement.