Do you have the brain needed to be a ballet dancer?

There has been recent research by scientists indicating that there are differences in ballet dancers’ brain structure that helps them not to feel dizzy during performances. This research shows that as dancers practice pirouettes they are able to suppress signals responsible for balance.

These findings that were published in a journal could prove to be helpful in treating patients suffering from chronic dizziness a condition that affects one out of four people at least once in their lives.

The feeling of dizziness usually comes from vestibular organs found in the inner ear. The fluid-filled chambers sense that the head is rotating and thus the fluid starts to move. After turning around for some time and you stop turning, the fluid continues moving making your feel as if you are still spinning.

Ballet dancers have the ability to perform pirouettes with very little dizziness because of a technique that they use. The technique involves fixing your gaze on the same spot even as you turn.

Twenty-nine ballet dancers and twenty female rowers whose age and fitness were similar were selected by researchers from Imperial College London to participate in this study.

These volunteers were spun around while sitting on a chair in a dark room and were asked to turn a certain handle just in time with how fast they felt like they were still being spun round after stopping. The researchers measure eye reflexes as well as examined the brain structure of the participants with MRI scans.

From the research, eye reflexes as well as the feeling of spinning did last a shorter time in dancers as compared to rowers. Dr Seemungal from the Department of medicine at Imperial College wanted to find out the principle behind ballet dancers being able to train themselves not to feel dizzy and thus wanted to use the principle learned to help patients who are suffering from dizziness.