Why Don’t Ballet Dancers Get Dizzy When Pirouetting? [Video]

Interesting study found that ballerinas’ brains adapt to suppress dizziness when doing pirouettes, thanks to years of training.

Why Don’t Ballet Dancers Get Dizzy When Pirouetting?

A study has found important differences in ballet dancers’ brain structures that stop them from feeling dizzy while spinning. Dr Barry Seemungal, the neurologist who led the research, explained to the Today programme that it was a “training-based phenomenon”.

Article from BBC.

Researchers at the Imperial College London say they’ve discovered differences in the ballet dancers’ brain structure that help them suppress that dizzy feeling. They say their ballet brain study could lead to new therapies to help the one in four people, researchers claim, who suffer from chronic dizziness.

“[The ballet dancer’s] brain adapts over years of training to suppress that input [of dizziness],” says Dr. Barry Seemungal, who lead the research. The study also indicated the more experienced the dancer, the smaller that area of the brain. Seemungal says if science can target that same brain area or monitor it in patients with chronic dizziness, researchers can begin to understand how to treat those patients better.

Complete article at CBS News.

Video courtesy of YouTube.

Why Don’t Ballet Dancers Get Dizzy When Pirouetting?

They found that the part of the cerebellum which processes the signal from the balancing organs, was smaller in the dancers. The cerebellum is the part of the brain that governs body movement. “It’s not useful for a ballet dancer to feel dizzy or off balance,” said Seemungal. “Their brains adapt over years of training to suppress that input” — allowing them to continue dancing after spinning around in a pirouette and complete a performance without losing their balance. Barry Seemungal from Imperial College London’s medicine department said in a statement on the study published in the journal Cerebral Cortex.

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Why Don’t Ballet Dancers Get Dizzy When Pirouetting?

One more health benefit of being a ballet dancer or taking up ballet as an adult!

Please share this with friends and family. Who knows, maybe one of them will take up ballet and live a longer, healthier life!

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