By Mike Darling
Romantic comedies from Swingers to Wedding Crashers have repeatedly taught men that knowing the right moves on the dance floor can help even the most awkward brutes get lucky. That’s nothing new. But after seeing Jon Favreau land Heather Graham, did we pause our games of NHL 94 en masse and enlist in ballroom dancing classes? That failure, gents, could be one reason why we are not so fortunate as Benjamin Millepied today.
See, Millepied is a professional choreographer and ballet dancer. He’s French, he can pull off a skinny tie, and as People reported yesterday, he’s also Natalie Portman’s fiancé and the father of her child-to-be. Portman and Millepied met on the set of Black Swan, in which Portman plays a ballet dancer. Millepied choreographed her routines and plays a supporting role in the flick.
I don’t enjoy waking up to news like this. The idea that legions of graceful, highly coordinated Frenchmen are taking otherworldly beauties like Padmé Amidala off the market is about as comforting as a telegram that my girlfriend is stranded in Aspen, and John Mayer just walked in with a guitar and an uncorked cabernet.
The fact is, Portman’s engagement appears (on the surface, anyway) to be further proof of the power that a man who can dance—or hell, a man who is willing to dance—can hold. Thankfully, you don’t need to be a pro like Millepied to grab the right kind of attention. A recent study revealed that it’s not necessarily good dancing that attracts the fairer sex. For proof, we turn you over to professor Paul Rudd:
Researchers at Northumbria University and the University of Gottigen in Germany found that women were more attracted to men who performed “flamboyant,” over-the-top dance moves. “It’s all about body movement and variation,” study author David Neave told the Telegraph. “Tilting forward, backwards, left and right and twisting around. What it shows is strength, suppleness and creativity, all of which shows you are a good catch.”
Of course, as we’re sure Millepied well knows, six-pack abs and unparalleled coordination can’t hurt. But no matter how many smooth-talking ballet dancers invade, it’s refreshing to know that women don’t always prefer Baryshnikov—sometimes, they’re looking over their shoulder at the guy happily kicking up his feet, unafraid to act a fool.