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Sunday, 20 October 2013

Dancing, Spinning and getting Dizzy

Before I got into dancing I got dizzy very easily and had nasty experiences on some fairground rides. As I did more dancing, my tolerance for rotation increased greatly and nowadays I can do very long swings, spinny French waltzes, etc. without any trouble. Of course, I sometimes find myself partnered with someone who gets dizzy and have to look out for that.

Novices who get dizzy often get advised to do "spotting" or to focus on some convenient part of their partner's body. I've always suspected that this is rubbish advice because:
  •  I don't use either technique and I'm fine
  • If you are the leader in a couple on a crowded dance floor you need to use your eyes more intelligently than that!
So I was interested in some recent research that suggests that dancer's brains adapt over time to suppress input from their vestibular systems, I thought about this again at a recent ceilidh where I danced with a very old friend who I hadn't seen for about a year. She got very dizzy in swings and it never used to be a problem.

I was concerned because I've known dizziness like this to accompany a diagnosis of ME. However, she told me that she had done no dancing for many months. Perhaps the brain adaptation had reversed. Hope so!

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