48°F
Sponsored by

The Science Behind Ballerinas

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- What we see when we look at a ballerina is a beautiful image moving in a circle. But how is it that dancers can spin without falling over?
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- What we see when we look at a ballerina is a beautiful image moving in a circle.  But how is it that dancers can spin without falling over?

Scientists in Britain say the brains of ballet dancers may hold the key to treating dizziness. 

New research from the Imperial College in London shows the ballerinas may be able to suppress signals from the inner ear to the brain.

“The brain adapts to training and it adapts in areas that are important in controlling dizziness,” says Dr. Barry Seemungal, a neurologist at Imperial College in London.

Scientists demonstrated how they put ballerinas through spinning tests in a dark room.

They did the same with female rowers and then compared the brains of the two groups of athletes.

The dancers' brains responded less to the spinning sensation.

To keep balance, ballet dancers minimize head movements, by focusing their eyes on one spot ahead of them as they spin.

Researchers say the brains of ballet dancers can actually adapt to years of spinning and that over time the area of the brain that deals with dizziness shrinks.

Ballet instructor at Central School of Ballet Stephen Williams says once you train the brain, the skill can last a lifetime.

“The length of training is really important,” says Williams. “I mean you have to keep at it again, and again, and again, and again.”

Researchers hope their ballet brain study could benefit the one-in-four individuals who suffer from chronic dizziness at some point life. 
Page: [[$index + 1]]
comments powered by Disqus