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written by Sam Greenspan

A new study found group dances increase your pain threshold. Lists of dances that do and do not qualify.

According to a new study, doing a dance like the Macarena actually increases your ability to withstand a punch to the face. Like, say, the punch to the face you might receive for suggesting everyone do the Macarena.

Researchers at Oxford University — yes, THE Oxford University in England, not like a DeVry University in Oxford, Indiana — found that participating in group dances raises your pain threshold. The tl;dr reason is the mix of physical activity and social bonding triggers your brain like a team sport so you release endorphins and see a bump in your pain tolerance.

So now, an exclusive list of the dances that will make you better at resisting pain and the ones that won’t.

Dances that will make you better at resisting pain

  • Electric Slide
  • Chicken Dance
  • Hokey Pokey
  • Ghostbusters
  • Country line dancing, preferably to Achy Breaky Heart
  • The Dougie
  • The Macarena
  • Gangnam Style (unless you’re the guy solo pelvis thrusting in the elevator)
  • Casper Cha Cha Slide Part 1
  • Casper Cha Cha Slide Part 2
  • Keep looking out for Part 3, and, if so, include it here
  • Cupid Shuffle
  • Whip/Nae Nae
  • Mia Michaels choreography to a Sia song for the opening number of So You Think You Can Dance
  • The Bartman
  • YMCA
  • Single Ladies
  • (reluctantly) Thriller
  • The Humpty Dance
  • The Hustle
  • But most of all, the Tootsee Roll

Dances that will not make you better at resisting pain

  • Dancing to Dancing With Myself by yourself
  • After being tagged in Dance 360 and finding yourself solo in the circle
  • I Could Have Danced All Night
  • Literal interpretation of Dancing Queen
  • When you’re on Jimmy Fallon’s show and he says you’re going to do a game where you’ll do random dances in the style of celebrities, like Brad Garrett doing the Charleston or something
  • Dance Dance Revolution
  • The robot
  • “Sing like no one is listening. Love like you’ve never been hurt. And dance like nobody’s watching.”

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