Has any culture, apart from that of the tiny Utah town in Footloose, done entirely without dancing?
It would at first seem that the human need to rhythmically shake one's limbs to organize sound must reside pretty low on the overall priority scale.
But anthropology tells us that various human societies started dancing before they got into most every other activity that fills their time today.
Why is this ostensibly frivolous act so fundamental to being human? The answer seems to be found in our need for social cohesion - that vital glue that keeps societies from breaking apart despite interpersonal differences.
Modern science has shed a bit of light on why: We humans have a natural tendency to synchronize our movements with other humans, thanks to a region in the brain which helps us make the same movements we see others making.
When we mimic our partner's movements, and they're mimicking ours, similar neural networks in both networks open up a rush of neurohormones, all of which make us feel good.
Listening to music can create such a euphoric delight that it appears to activate opioid receptors in the brain, making it even harder to resist getting up and dancing.
They said he'd never win but he knew he had to is the tagline from Footloose - an assurance that turns out to have had a basis in neurology.