Rotating Dancer Illusion

rotating dancer illusionToday we feature a rotating dancer illusion known as the spinning dancer illusion or silhouette illusion.   This rotating dancer illusion was created in 2003 by Nobuyuki Kayahara.  He is a Japanese web designer and the link with his name goes to the image on his site.   The image is reprinted under the creative commons.

You can see the ballerina optical illusion on the left or in the videos.  The spinning dancer video above has a nice soundtrack but seems to move a little slower than the ballerina image on the left.  See if you notice a difference in which way the dancer spins between the video and the image.

Which way it the ballerina in this optical illusion rotating or spinning for you?

Some of have proposed that in the rotating dancer illusion if you see the dancer spinning clockwise then you are using your right brain whereas if you see her spinning or rotating counterclockwise then you are using your left brain.   However, there is no proof of that theory.  In actuality, it is a visual optical illusion that stems from the lack of depth in the image.

According to wikipedia studies have shown that in the rotating dancer illusion, two thirds of the people see the dancer rotating clockwise.    Wikipedia notes that the perception that the rotating dancer is spinning clockwise may be due to you having a perception that you are looking at the image from above.  Whereas if you see the girl turning counterclockwise it may be due to having a perception that you are looking up at the image from below.

Can you change the direction in which you see the lady spinning in this rotating dancer illusion?   Sometimes it happens spontaneously and other times you can actually force the change in direction.   It has been said that if you look for an arm going in front you can change the direction but I’m not sure if that works for everyone!

In the video below some enterprising individual has given the dancing girl a border so you can see how to solve this illusion.  In the split screen you have two girls dancing and the border placed on each spinning dancer lets you see them rotating one way or the other.


Hope you enjoyed this rotating dancer illusion!   Which way did you see the dancer spin in the original image?


One Response to “Rotating Dancer Illusion”

  1. rick millward says:

    First time I thought she was going to the right but after reading the rest of the article I decided to watch again and I saw her going both ways but more to theright.

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