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Boot and Blade

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You Spin Me Round

A reader sent me this question:

"I have a question about spins…how in the world do skaters do them and not get dizzy?  I know how dancers do it but it doesn't look like skaters 'spot'.  I've always wanted to know this!"

Indeed, skaters don't 'spot' like dancers do. Believe it or not, there's no magical technique to not getting dizzy when you spin. It's a matter of practice. As a young skater you start spinning at quite a slow rate, which means you don't get very dizzy. As your speed increases your brain adapts and eventually you just stop being dizzy. If there is a trick, it's in keeping your weight firmly balanced on the ball of your foot. If you have a firm anchor the spin stays centred and it's much easier to stay upright. If you're spinning and traveling across the ice at the same time, even a seasoned spinner can get dizzy.

This is one of the reasons skaters almost always spin and jump in the same direction–training your brain to spin in that way takes a lot of time and practice. You'd have to start from square one to start turning the opposite way!

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