How your education level relates to your likelihood of dancing

BY Elizabeth Shell  September 26, 2013 at 6:14 PM EDT

Photo by Flickr user terrellcwoods

How often do you conga, cut a rug, disco or shimmy? If you have a college degree, chances are more likely you’ve done so in the past year. Really? Really says the National Endowment for the Arts.

Americans’ engagement — and that includes social dancing — with the arts is the subject of a comprehensive survey released Thursday by the NEA. The arts organization wanted to know, among other things, how often we go to the movies, attend a performance, read, go to a music festival and dance socially. That last one intrigued us. It intrigued the NEA, too, since it’s a new question in this survey, which comes out roughly every five years. According to the results, social dancing is the most commonly reported activity among all the forms of art-making and art-sharing, with nearly one in three adults saying they danced at weddings, clubs or other social settings in 2012.

Broken down by demographics, an interesting trend came through — your educational attainment level is an indicator for how much social dancing you did in 2012. The more education you have, the more likely you are to have danced. Of course, correlation does not imply causation, but allow us to take a few liberties to illustrate the findings:

18.1 percent of adults who only completed grade school reported social dancing last year.


21.2 percent of adults who completed some high school danced last year.


25 percent of adults who completed high school danced last year.


34.1 percent of adults who completed some college danced last year.


40.8 percent of adults who graduated college danced last year.


41.2 percent of adults who went to grad school danced last year.


Read our full take on the report.