Babies love the beat, according to a new study that shows dancing comes naturally to babies. Research has shown that babies respond to the rhythm and tempo of music and find it more engaging than speech. Findings based on a study of 120 infants aged 5 months to 2 years suggest that people may be born with a predisposition to rhythmic movements in response to music.
To test the infants’ propensity to dance, the researchers played recordings of classical music, rhythmic beats and speech to them and recorded the results on video. They also hired professional ballet dancers to analyze how the children coordinated their movements with the music.
During the experiments, the babies sat on their parents’ laps, although the adults had earphones so they couldn’t hear the music and were told not to move. The researchers found that babies moved their arms, hands, legs, feet, torso and head in response to music rather than speech.