Bad dancers might be following in their ancestors’ footsteps.

A study has found that specific aspects of dancing, including the ability to move to a beat and have good rhythm, are genetic.

Researchers at the University of Melbourne in Australia had first asked participants whether or not they felt they could keep in time to a beat before measuring their ability to do so.

They also analyzed genomes, or entire sets of DNA, from 606,825 people off of 23andMe data to look for patterns of genes that were associated with rhythm. This was then compared against self-identified musicians and non-musicians.

It was found that between 13% and 16% of rhythm-determining genes are hereditary and not caused by a person’s environment or random chance, according to the study, which was published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour.

The study correlates to overall musical ability and not just dancing.
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The researchers discovered 69 different genetic variants associated with following a beat. Since most of these were found in the brain, researchers then concluded that rhythm has a connection to broader brain development. 

The study also found that perfect pitch is genetic instead of learned. A person is said to have perfect pitch if they can hear a note being played and immediately guess the note, be able to sing it or play the note on an instrument.

Researchers at the University of Delaware found that people who possess this musical gift have an auditory cortex — the part of the brain that processes sounds, voices and music — that is 50% larger than normal.   

Only one in around 10,000 people have perfect pitch. Even some musicians who have been training for over a decade were found to have an auditory cortex that is the same size as those who have never picked up an instrument before.

On that note, genetics might be to blame for overall musical abilities.



This story originally Appeared on Nypost