How Do Ballerinas Spin Without Getting Dizzy?


We have all heard that one of the reasons why ballerinas don't get dizzy when they spin is that they pick a stationary spot in their environment and focus their attention on that. When they move their body during a turn, they also move their head in order to visually locate that spot again and again. It is thought that this gives them a sense of visual stability while the world swirls around them.

While this technique does help to lessen the visual cue of spinning, the average person who isn't a dancer may still get dizzy even while trying to employ the technique of "spotting." Studies have shown that the brains of ballerinas may have actually adapted to effectively ignore the vestibular signal from their inner ears and that they can disconnect from the sensation of spinning due to the years they have spent practicing spins. This rewiring of the brain to ignore the dizzying signal paired with the spotting technique is what allows them to pirouette perfectly without ... well, puking.