Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by wannadance, Feb 8, 2008.
when ever I spin i get really dizzy. how do i get over this?
Try 'spotting'. You keep your eyes focused on one point while your spinning. It takes some time to develop but is very effective once you get the hang of it.
I can't think of another way to explain it so maybe someone else can explain it.
I think it is really important to re-align your thinking to the action not being a spin but a forward action...
I get dizzy if I do several left turns in a row in VW. Cure: don't do that!
Seriously: Just practice will help in itself; over time, your inner ear will improve as far as not getting disoriented so easily. Do what MBB and fasc said; work on your spotting and make sure that your spins and turns are progressing instead of just drilling a hole in the floor. Also, make absolutely sure that you are holding your head straight up and keeping your body vertical during the spin. If you let your head tilt during a spin, that's a sure inducement for a barf. :-|
Definitely do not look at your feet. (Not that you should at any time anyway, but...)
oooo...I love it when someone who knows something agrees with me...happy dance happy dance
another point ...never try to step and spin at the same time...step, then turn, step, then turn...be completely over that foot before you turn
Another excellent point and common error. Doing this will aide the other and vis-a-vis.
Miss Ballroom Bear had said: "keep your eyes focused on one point while your spinning". If I may elaborate on that point....
When you are preparing right before a spin, and you are staring straight ahead, focus on whatever is in front of you, and actually SAY to yourself whatever that thing might be. THIS is the item you want to "spot" or "return to" after each spin. So for example, if you are partner dancing and the lead is directly in front of you and has given you the signal for a spin, as you prep, look straight ahead at his neck, his gold chain, his third eye...whatever part of his body/clothing is at your eye level. I find it helps to then say to myself "Adam's apple" and then as I spin, I know that what I am "looking for" to return to, or complete one spin, is his Adam's apple. Then if there are successive turns to be done, I just keep thinking about his Adam's apple, and at the end of each complete rotation, I am lookign to focus on, or return to that. This is what spotting is, and this is what helps to stop you from getting dizzy.
If you are doing a free spin without a partner, then find whatever else might be in front of you at the time, and make THAT your return-to spot, be it "wall" or "wall of mirrors", etc.
If you don't "spot", your eyes are just randomly seeing everything in the room as a big blur while you spin. But if while spinning, you are concentrating on your "spot"...the spot you first saw right before you began spinning...the name of the spot you then said to yourself in your head before you started spinning... and you are looking for that spot to signal the end of one complete turn, then your eyes will be more focused, ergo you'll get less dizzy.
A second tip for spinning is...your head/eyes should be the last thing to turn during a spin, especially your first spin if we are talking about multiples. So even though your body has begun to turn away from your "spot", you want to continue to keep your eyes focused on that spot for as long as you can, until it is physically impossible, and your head/eyes must turn along with the rest of your body (that began turning ahead of it), in order to complete the spin. To understand this concept, watch some videos of good spinners, and you will notice that before they do their first spin, their head will be tilted to the side as they spin, so that they get that last view of their "spot" from their peripheral vision, before they must turn their head/eyes away from the spot, to complete the spin.
This all reminds me of another tip if I may offer it to anyone who's interested... byt the way, this tip applies to salsa, and perhaps other dances as well.
There are times in salsa when er...gosh...I often don't know the names for moves... where the guy might give you a turn, and then a counter-turn. So it's not a rapid spin per se... but he's turning you, and then you pause...perhaps he gives you a shoulder check...and then he turns you back towards him. Anyway, one time I was having a private, and the teacher noticed something while we were doing these type turns or something similar. She said that any time I am doing something like that, I should also be spotting, even though it is not a "spin". She said by doing so, my moves will look more "intentional", more sharp. She said I should never just be staring into space so to speak with a blank stare, with my eyes not focused. So I employed the spotting technique, and during these turns, when the lead would stop me with a shoulder check or whatever, I would LOOK at what was straight in front of me and SEE what was in front of me. (Most people only think of spotting with relation to spinning, but apparently that is not the only time you should be spotting.) And the teacher said that when I practiced this concept with her, that she noticed a huge difference. She said I looked alot sharper. And now when I employ that practice when social dancing, I too can feel the difference...that my moves look more intentional...more like a "performer"...
I'll probably have to defend this, but 'spotting' really has little to do with not getting dizzy. Though, it will aide some because the eyes are not trying to constantly refocus, it is mainly aesthetic. For example, I coach figure skaters. There is absolutely no physical way that they can spot when doing "scratch spins" or "headless spins" (the incredibly crazy fast spins often seen at the ends of routines). They don't get dizzy. They stop on a pinhead, and are able to skate off in perfect control. Note, I said "they", not "we". How they do this is by a process called blind focusing.
It is simple in theory. If you have ever stared at something until it became blurry and out of focus; or, intentionally widened the eyes until objects within the sight are blurry or out of focus, then you understand the basic principle. the skater knows how to do this on command. I teach it to BR students, and my performance company dancers all the time.
I agree, spotting has absolutely nothing to do with dizzy or not. I don't teach spotting as a way to keep from getting dizzy, I teach spotting as a relationship of head and foot position. I also teach shaped turns as a relationship of head and foot position. Spotting or shaping can increase or decrease the speed of a turn because the use of head weight can influence your rotation. But this has nothing to do with dizziness, it is purely aesthetic to the viewer, a sense of style to the dancer, and mechanically tied into the workings of the body.
You get dizzy because the gelatenous fluid in the ears spins. This happens whether or not you spot, or shape, or something else. To not get dizzy you have to train your brain to interpret the signal of spinning fluid as "something other than dizzy" or "perfectly normal" or "non-threatening".
The simple practice of spotting over and over and over with the intent to not get dizzy is what in reality makes you not get dizzy. You are tricking your brain to percieve that action as normal.
I used to get dizzy faster with spotting than I ever would from a shaped turn, but that is because I spent my career learning how to shape turns... and so forced my brain to see that action as non-threatening. It took longer to not get dizzy while spotting because I did less of those type of actions in my dancing.
So tha real answer is practice something, practice anything, but practice with the intent that you will not get dizzy, because you can overload your brain "important information to process" instead of letting it think "oh my gosh I am dizzy".
In Smooth when we spin and turn our entire body is rarely vertical, my head is almost laid flat to my shoulder when I spin sometimes. Shaped turns are almost like a requirement in Smooth. Also in Standard the ladys head is far from vertical.
Just the fact that when you spin and you say to yourself "I am vertical, there is my foot and I will feel a tall vertical stretch, I see where I am going, I will start to turn, and I will leave my head here while my body turns, I feel the floor under my foot...." and so on, you are giving your brain something to do besides freak out over the spinning fluid.
I'm really interested to see that the pros around here don't think spotting helps dizziness.
I have to say that I do not think spotting ever made me less dizzy. Luckily I didn't have a big problem with dizziness to start with, but the times that I have felt a little woozy I think have often come from *over-spotting* - i.e., snap-spotting so fast that I feel like my brain is sloshing against the inside of my skull.
It almost seems reasonable that spotting would make dizziness worse, since instead of a smooth uninterrupted rotation of your head you get extra-rapid movement interspersed with stops.
If I didn't spot I would screw up the exit from the spin though, because I wouldn't know my position in relation to my partner and the room anymore. Spotting definitely helped me orient myself. I no longer have a problem spinning while looking up, down or wherever but for a long time that would make me lose my orientation and therefore my balance.
This is an interesting thread. I wonder why ballet dancers spot so much in their dancing? Is it more for the look? It seems to make sense that the mind alone could overcome dizziness. Could it be that for some people spotting also helps to overcome dizziness? By having short intervals where the room is visually not spinning, maybe this helps mind to overcome dizziness too.
Some of my social dance partners (I'm a guy) seem to get more dizzy if looking down while spinning. Holding head/eyes up usually helps. Most do not spot. Maybe fluid of inner ear is less agitated while head held up. Or maybe some natural (but not forced) visual spotting is occurring thus helping brain to overcome dizziness.
No. Please reread posts #13 and #14. These answer your questions directly.
Keep on practicing. I cannot spot, but just through mere repetition I can turn quite a fwe times without being affected. ;-)
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