Until recently I stopped going to my dance classes as I thought it’d be bad for the MAV. However I missed dance so much I decided to go back a few weeks ago, even if it meant only doing half the class or missing out moves etc. I do street dance which involves a lot of head movements and turns. On occasions during the class I do have problems with certain moves making me dizzy and I have to wait a moment to feel better again

Can anyone explain why I always feel better all evening after a dance class? After the class I always feel like my head is clearer, less foggy, and I hardly notice the dizziness - in fact sometimes it feels like it’s gone completely for the evening.

I expected to feel as dizzy, if not worse, after the class so I’m confused about why it makes me feel better? Any suggestions?


I would think the head movements would be hard to tolerate - BUT I think it’s the total migraine trigger load we’ve got going that determines how our migraine brain is going to react at any given time. Exercise in general is considered part of a good treatment plan for migraine, so dance is good for you in that respect.

So my best guess is that if you’ve had few of your other triggers in your system or in the environment lately, the head moves may not provoke it. But if you’ve eaten something that’s a trigger, or haven’t slept enough, or had too much stress, or the weather recently changed - that is, your total trigger load is mounting - THEN you throw in the head movement, that may be too much for your migraine brain to handle.


Thanks for the reply. I do a lot of exercising and walk 3miles every day but find this has no effect on the MAV at all, good or bad. And yet after dancing, I feel great, really clear headed and hardly dizzy at all. I guess what i’m really curious about is why walking doesn’t help but dancing does. Why is one form of exercise better than the other? Particularly one that involves lots of turns?


Oh, that’s a different question - you do two different kinds of exercise but only one makes you feel really good, so why wouldn’t the other kind make you feel really good when it doesn’t involve turning your head?

My guess on that one is dancing is your bliss! :smiley:

You probably get way more endorphins from dancing, way more feel-good chemicals from the joy that dancing gives you. And music (even “just percussion,” which is music, for those who may not know) also connects to the brain in ways that are healing, especially when it’s music that you like. Lots of interesting research has been done on music and the brain - and it’s not scientific, but we all know the saying “music soothes the savage beast” and “beast” is one of the names we’ve used on this site for MAV.

oh how i miss dancing. I used to go out dancing once in a while. When i was younger i did it a lot. my mother is 93 and she actually goes dancing once in a great while and even with the spinal stenosis - as long as she has someone to hold on to she feels no pain - you’re right about music - it makes people feel real good.

Eercise for the most part makes me feel good for a little while afterwards - not always but most of the time.


Hi Mary Alice

Thanks for the information, that was really interesting. I hadn’t thought of it from an endorphins perspective but that would make a lot of sense. When I walk, I’m going to and from work so I definitely don’t enjoy that as much.

I’ll have a look into the research and findings on music and the brain, it sounds interesting. So I guess to feel better with MAV, I need to dance more often :slight_smile:

Chris - what type of dancing did you do? I’ve done ballet, tap, modern, street, contemporary jazz and bollywood/bhangra in the past although I’m not an expert - I just love dancing! So glad I’ve been able to go back to it, even if at times I can’t do all the moves or only manage half a class.


i took some ballet and modern when i was real young that’s all. I always wanted to take more but didn’t. Mostly i just went out night club dancing when i was younger but now that i’m geting old and not well i don’t do it any more - oh well.


Hi Jeni - I did tap and ballet from age 3. Took a belly dance class for giggles with a friend, and some modern dance classes in college. Danced in high school musicals and a college-community production too. Gay friends took me to gay bars when disco was all the rage - I loved to go dancing but it was hard to find straight guys who did.

Never really that good at it, but just loved to dance. After college and a few years of getting started in my career, got back into tap until I had minor knee surgery.

But before the surgery, I had one brush with stardom - Gregory Hines (one of the geniuses of tap - now gone, sad to say) was doing a one man show that he took around the U.S. I had heard that if you brought your tap shoes, he’d invite tappers of all skill levels up on stage with him at one point during the show, and having seen that happen at another tap event (not Hines), I thought it would be a whole crowd and we’d do a shim sham or something behind him (that’s what happened at this other show). So when he called the tappers up, I went up expecting to blend in - but only a handful of people went up. All the others were REALLY good, because I’d already seen some of them performing in the lobby “pre-show” on portable tap floors that pros carry around! I was terrified. He had a mike (he was singing and dancing in this show) so he had us each introduce ourselves, and asked us each to do a short combination of steps. A couple of the pros did these great solos, then it was my turn and I said something like I’m not up to the level of everybody else here, and he took me by the hand! What a thrill. I can’t remember if he asked me what I could do or just how it got started, but we did a basic time step together.

Yes, it WAS bliss. :smiley:

Hi Jenlo,

Just a thought, but you don’t have a vestibular element to your dizziness do you? Your dancing sounds like a (seriously much more fun) version of vestibular rehabilitation therapy.

I think whatever the reason, you keep doing it girl!


Still a bit new to this MAV thing, how would I know if there is a vestibular element to the dizziness?

Mary Alice - You sound as if you love dancing as much as me! One of the highlights of my year has been doing a tap class with one of the dancers who used to be in tap dogs! He teaches a kind of street tap style and he was one of the nicest teachers ever. Incredibly down to earth. I’ve also done ballroom taster classes with some or the dancers from strictly come dancing in the UK a few years a go although I quickly realised that I’m terrible at dancing any kind of Latin style dance like salsa and tango


Hi all

Just thought i’d post an update on dancing and how I find it helps my vertigo.

I’ve had a really busy few weeks, working overtime at work and being busy in the evenings/weekends. Since last Saturday, my vertigo got worse with increased tingling and pins and needles in my face/head. I felt so unwell that if we hadn’t been so short staffed at work, I would have stayed at home.

i’d bought tickets to attend a dance exhibition today where I could do 4 different 45 minute dance classes. I go every year and really enjoy it. However I foolishly decided to go out with a friend last night and ended up with only 4 hours sleep. And the dizziness this morning was so bad, I had no idea if I’d be able to dance at all. (it is hard to dance even on a good day as the vertigo makes turns and balancing difficult - I really have to concentrate when dancing to avoid getting too dizzy). As I’d paid for the tickets, I decided to go and do the best I could even if that was just 10mins

I found that when I started the first class, the vertigo improved and I managed to do all 4 classes. I still had the usual issues with turns and balance and a few wobbly moments. However the bad vertigo from this morning seemed to quickly disappear and after the classes, this evening I’m nearer to my usual milder dizzy self - better than I’ve been all week. So I really do believe dance helps me even though I don’t understand why.

I will let you know tomorrow if I go back to the worse vertigo or stay nearer my usual level of vertigo


Bliss - endorphins - music healing for our brain in ways we don’t fully understand: dance is just good for you! :smiley:

By the way, I believe there are studies going on with Parkinson’s patients and tango (of all things) because there were anecdotal reports that Parkies who did tango experienced symptom relief. :!:

(There are Parkies in my family so I know more about this disease than I ever wanted to.)

Hi Jen,

That’s great that you managed to go, and had a great time. How are you feeling now, a few days later? I hope you are ok?

Hi Beechleaf

I’m still feeling good thanks, much better than last week and almost back to my milder dizzy self. I’m glad as I have 10 work events tomorrow that I’m helping with and last week I wasn’t sure if I’d be well enough by tomorrow. Last time my vertigo got that bad it took me 2months to feel better.

It takes 5 members of staff from my team to cover our roles with these events tomorrow and it would have made it really difficult for my colleagues to cover it all if I wasn’t in work. I’m happy that they won’t have to manage without me.

Maryalice - I’ll have a look for that research on parkinsons and tango. Again it sounds like an interesting idea and I’d be interested in what results they find.


My vestibular specialist at Hopkins told me to go out and do ballroom dancing. He said it would help my brain and eye coordination get back in sync, so to speak. I am no where near that level to try it yet, nor have I ever danced anyway, but that’s fantastic that you feel better afterwards.