Whirling is Nicole McLaren's speciality! For her, this rarely seen dance bears a unique, mesmerizing quality, paradoxically combining a great calmness with high-paced movement: whirling as meditation in motion, brought to the show stage as a spectacular art form. In her own, very distinct Whirling style, Nicole blends elements from different cultures and time periods with the ancient, originally Turkish spinning technique in order to create a new, contemporary stage form of the Whirling Dance. 

The defining feature of whirling is continuous rotation (clockwise or counterclockwise) around a central radical axis, while resisting vertigo. Because of the high g and centrifugal forces created by spinning around a central axis, continuous whirling creates disorienting effects in humans. In untrained dancers, this manifests as dizziness or motion-induced vertigo. Training for whirling targets the inner ear which is responsible for balance functions in humans. To counteract the natural induction of vertigo, whirling dance performers practice various balancing and psychological techniques, achieving core strength, radial balance and radial symmetry.

NICOLE MCLAREN, holder of the Guinness World Records for the "most Sufi whirls in one hour" (performed at ZeoT Zurich in 2015, with 3,552 rotations) kindly offered to give ZeoT students some great tips!




1. "Warm up" the sense of equilibrium in the inner ear.

Rotate your head, tilt it, shake it. Make figure eights with it, let the hair fly - be wild!

2. Posture is your dearest friend.

Engage the abdominal muscles. Pelvis up, shoulders down, neck long.

3. Shift your weight onto the left foot.

Close your eyes, feel the axis. Tell your body: That´s home. While whirling, search for it. Find it. Stay there.

4. Make it your goal to grow 2 centimeters during the turns.

Elongate yourself skywards.

5. Go to ballet and martial arts classes.

Nothing ameliorates posture and core strength more.

6. Stretch, stretch, stretch.

Daily. Indefatigably.

7. Whirl..

...find confidence in the loss of control. Let go. Trust.

8. Enjoy dizziness.

Make it your friend.

9. Whirl to the edge of your comfort zone.

Whirl often, whirl long. Be brave.

10. Stop turning, start whirling.

Be the calm in the centre of the storm. Let the world spin around you. Breathe, smile: enjoy the ride. Then you will not be dancing - you will be flying.



von Nicole McLaren, Guinness-Weltrekordhalterin im Drehtanz

1. "Wärme" den Gleichgewichtssinn im Innenohr ein: Kreise den Kopf, neige ihn, schüttle ihn. Mach Achten, lass die Haare fliegen - sei wild!
2. Haltung  ist Dein bester Freund. Becken hoch, Bauchmuskeln spannen, Schultern runter, Nacken lang. 
3. Verlagere alles Gewicht auf das linke Bein. Mach die Augen zu, spür die Achse. Sag dem Körper: That´s home. Suche diese Heimat im Drehen. Finde sie. Bleibe dort.
4. Egal, wie gross Du bist: Nimm Dir vor, im Drehen 2 Zentimeter zu wachsen. Streck Dich dem Himmel entgegen.
5. Mach Ballett, mach Kampfkunst. Nichts ist besser für Haltung und Stamina.
6. Stretchen, stretchen, stretchen. Täglich. Alles.
7. Drehe... Finde Vertrauen im Kontrollverlust. Lass los.
8. Freu Dich ob des Schwindels. Mach ihn zu Deinem Freund.
9. Dreh Dich an den Rand Deiner "Comfort Zone". Drehe lang, drehe oft.  Sei mutig.
10. Lass den Raum, die Welt an Dir vorbeiziehen. Entspann Dich, atme, lächle; dann wirst Du nicht tanzen - sondern fliegen.