THEY queue up for ages outside nightclubs, reeking of aftershave and planning on meeting a few girls.

But when the men get inside, they start on the lager which gives them the Dutch courage they need to start 'impressing' the girls with their dancing.

And indeed Mr Hunk may head your way for a dance and all will be great...until you notice his two left feet and dodgy Shakin' Stevens movements.

In fact Mr Hunk is not quite as gorgeous as you first thought, for that very simple reason - he can't dance.

A man like that can seriously damage your reputation as the hottest dance queen in Oxfordshire.

Visit any nightclub in the country and you will see girls rhythmically gyrating on the podiums as if they are fresh out of dance school.

More times than not, the men will be shuffling below them in a sad style that is more Mr Bean than John Travolta. They would look better dancing around a handbag. It's embarrassing and uncool. But somewhere out there in Oxfordshire, there must be SOME men who can dance like Leroy from Fame or Dirty Dancing's Patrick Swayze. We went to Park End Club in Oxford, where the men dress to impress the hundreds of gals who get in free on Thursday's Ladies' Night, to find out whether men can dance.

The 900-capacity club has three dancefloors with music to suit just about everyone's taste so it couldn't really be that difficult to find SOME men who can dance.

Lee Simpson, 21, is the bar manager at Park End. He said: "From what I have seen I don't know whether men can dance!

"There is no real competition and men are prepared to make themselves look stupid. On Thursday nights at the club you will get the lads who are out on the town but on Saturdays people come more for the music."

We spotted 19-year-old Eleanor Corven from Milton doing some pretty nifty moves so we asked her opinion on men and dancing.

She said: "My boyfriend can dance but other than that men can't. They don't tend to let go or get the rhythm properly." Hannah Ward, 18, from Garsington, said: "Men can't dance. They just pout all the time and sometimes you will see them on the podiums when they are trying to pull women!"

Pal Leila Wilcox, 19, from Horspath, Oxford, agreed: "Men can't dance because they haven't got any rhythm.

"One famous man who is a good dancer is Will Smith. But Peter Andre can't dance at all. You need rhythm and soul to be able to dance and men shouldn't care so much about what they are doing."

Correll Scott, 18, from Oxford, was adament that men are not top in the dance stakes. "They can't dance because they are too busy posing."

Her friend Susan Pinyoloya said: "I actually think some men CAN dance. Black men can dance better than white men but they also think they can get more women because they dance well!"

But Neil Maskell, 20, from Witney, said: "Yes, men can dance. Certainly men like myself! It's better when you have had a few because you have more confidence. Women are better dancers but not all men are rubbish."

Darren Buchanan, 24, from Witney, admitted the main reason he was out clubbing was not to show off his dancing skills: "I'm here because it is Ladies' Night and I admit I'm on the pull. I can't dance until I have had a few drinks and blokes can't go on the podium because they make fools of themselves." His friend Gary Wright, 21, had other ideas: "Men can definitely dance. You should see us lot dancing because we are brilliant. "The only reason we pull is because of the way we dance."

Rich Hughes, 20, agreed. "Men can definitely dance, so obviously all the women who say we can't must have had one drink too many.

"It all depends on co-ordination and time."

Shop assistant Ross Stephens, 19, also from Witney, said: "Some can dance and some can't.

"I think trendy men can dance a lot better. I have never been on the podium but I think I would."

Scanning the dance floors in the club, most men were still at the bar by the time we left, while the women were having a great time - on the dance floor. Songs For Dancing 1. Dancing Queen

- Abba

2. Rhythm is a Dancer

- Snap

3. Get Into the Groove

- Madonna

4. Dancing With Tears In My Eyes

- Ultravox

5. Dancing in the Dark

- Bruce Springsteen Best

Male Dancers 1. Elvis Presley

2. Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing

3. John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever, Staying Alive and Grease

4. Kevin Bacon in Footloose

5. Michael Jackson Worst Male Dancers 1. Peter Andre

2. Hip gyrating old wrinkly Tom Jones

3. TV's fitness instructor Mr Motivator

4. East 17

5. George Michael and Andrew Ridgely in 80s band WHAM! WHERE TO GO

5th Avenue, Oxford: 01865 245136

Arena Nightclub, Oxford: 01865 776786

Club Latino, Oxford: 01865 247214

Downtown Manhattan, Oxford: 01865 721101

The Palace, Witney: 01993 778100

The Park End Club, Oxford: 01865 250181

Po-Na-Na Souk Bar, Oxford: 01865 249171

Stratton's, Abingdon: 01235 535400

The Zodiac, Oxford: 01865 726336

Converted for the new archive on 30 June 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.