Dancing Lady

Some of us wouldn’t know great art if it fell from the sky and bit us in the butt.  Others, on the other hand, would swear that the numbers we see on a spreadsheet are intent on kicking us in the gonads. The former are likely to be L-Directed Thinkers (LDT): people with a dominant left-brain; the latter are most probably R-Directed Thinkers (RDT): people with a dominant right-brain.

Left-brainers (the LDTs) are typically good at math, are logical, tend to think sequentially and are rooted in facts. The caricature of the left-brainer is the buck-toothed nerd with Buddy Holly glasses. His trousers are way too short for his legs and he prefers white socks even when he is wearing black leather shoes. Add to that the picture of him toting a well-used laptop held together by Elastoplast, the picture would be complete.

Right-brainers (the RDTs) – being the diametric opposite of left-brainers – are irrepressibly imaginative. They are comfortable with big-picture scenarios and are on first names basis with that elusive quality we call creativity. We tend to see them as the artsy-fartsy long-haired recluse, with a cigarette (Winston?) dangling from his lips, who wears nothing but tie-and-dye Pagoda tee-shirts and torn, faded jeans. Shoes? Forget about it! He prefers sandals or slippers – even on the rare occasion he decides to go for a job interview. Now, visualise him lugging around a battered old vintage camera or a sketch-pad with a bundle of pencils. Get get the picture?

Over the years we have probably developed some inkling as to which one we are. To confirm (or reinforce) this suspicion, have a look at this (or just at the dancing lady above). If you see the dancer turning clockwise, chances are you are a right-brainer – its time to stop trying to grapple with numbers and details and start breaking out your old tie-and-dye tee-shirts. If you see the dancer pirouetting in a counter-clockwise direction, its better that you forget that career as a concert pianist and start wearing trousers that are way too short for your legs – if you aren’t doing so already.

The point to all this is being able to identify if a person is right- or left-brain dominant can get us out of all sorts of trouble. For example, I would be out of my mind to expect my left-brain dominant son – the hardcore computer geek – to be able write a half-decent love letter to his girlfriend (not that this is fatal). Similarly, it would be equally laughable for me to expect my other son – the one who is obviously a right-brainer and has a guitar surgically attached to his torso – to be a math whiz at school just to compensate for my being a math idiot while I was there.

Similarly, it would be fatal to assign the creative, big-picture guy at the office to attend to routine work requiring attention to detail and extensive analysis. This is not because he is an idiot – he simply hasn’t got the right tools. It doesn’t matter what academic qualifications this guy has. If he is a right-brainer, in this environment he is going to make a mess of it.

The flipside of this is that it would be equally disastrous to make the resident ‘do-it-by-the-numbers’ lady deliver sales rally presentation and expect it to be an emotionally rousing one. Again, this is not because she is incompetent – she simply lacks the necessary equipment. No matter how good she looks – or how well she’s stacked – if she is a left-brainer, in this environment she will bring little more than entertainment value to the proceedings.

Of course, all this should be intuitive. But because of  the vagaries of the promotion system, combined with a heady mix of office politics and massive egos, we  we get it wrong all too often. We get picked for the wrong tasks and we, in turn, do the same to others.

What did I see when I looked at the spinning dancer? Let’s just say from now on I’ll stick to training people and not try to crunch too many numbers at any one time. Oh, and soon I’ll start lugging a beat up old vintage camera around wherever I go.

30 thoughts on “Dancing Lady

  1. sofi dear…

    pls tell me that that is a “tricky dicky” graphics>>cos a minute I c its turning clockwise..next I see it going counter clockwise..I am serious.


    No, sir. This is not a trick dicky. I suspect people whose left- and right-brain dominance are roughly equal see it the way you do. This probably makes you a whole-brain thinker… a rare but special breed.

  2. She’s something isn’t she? Sorry what you were saying about brain again?


    Erh… did I say brain? Brain? What brain? But those are sure a nice looking pair of… er… never mind.

  3. Sofian, try as I might I don’t see how anyone could see the silhouette turning other than clockwise! Sheesh, and I thought I was a ambidextrous brainer!

    Wish I had that body too (sigh)…


    That makes us both, ma’am. I’m still trying to see how it can turn counter-clockwise. I guess we are both right-brain dominant.

    Oh, I wish I had that body, too. But not in the way you want it, tho! 😉

  4. The lady is not actually turning at all, only the shadow changes as though she is turning. Most of the time i see her turning clockwise, but i could make her turn anti-clockwise if i do this:Try focusing on the lifted foot. When the foot points at you, look up the upperbody.


    Thanks, TD. I’ll give that a try

  5. Hey Sofi, I’m like Ismail above, I see it goes clock wise but when I scroll the page down slowly it goes anticlockwise, then I got distracted by that raisin & my imagination goes crazy & all of a sudden I feel my brain implosion & hot flushes like all my blood rushes to the brain..weird!!!!


    Yeah? The raisins have the same effect on me, too. Weird, eh… 😉

  6. Thanks Sofi…

    I m special ya?Can I get ur recommendation to be someone’s PolSec? Heard there’s a vacancy.Promise u a cut ehem ehem…if u know wat i mean.
    Anyway..would u hv a similar type of graphics BUT with the male form..you got to be fair to all ur fandoom.


    A male silhouette doing the same thing? I should think not. The third (but much shorter) leg jutting out of the torso would probably take the effect out of whack.

  7. I saw this test before and surprisingly I remembered I used to look at it counter clock wise. And tonight, I see it spinning clockwise. Damn I must be mentally retarded that I see the same thing but interpret it the different way.

    I guess, that’s why I write, paint, making postcards, taking pictures and whatnot. I think I should quit engineering and start traveling and write stories.

    zubaidah arshad

    There you go!

    You write compelling pieces. May I blogroll you?

  8. Funny that you write about this as I am just on the onset of exploring the Shicida method of teaching. The one capitalizing the power of the right brain. My sensei just pointed out my strength and weaknesses based on my right and left brain power… finally I know why I am such a klutz in some situation and a push over in others.
    Mind tak centre..sentiasa senget. Heh


    Erm… the Shicida method? It sounds very interesting.

    Like a Mr Miyagi moment, eh? “Daniel-san! Like everything in life, it all about balance… ”

    Good to hear from you again, ma’am

  9. My Momma said that we should never spin too much. Otherwise, our brain will loosen from the axis and then we would not remember if we had spun a certain story cockwise.. sorry.. clockwise or counter-cockwish.. ish! ish! .. counter-clockwise. 🙂

    BTW, I assume you have read Daniel Pink’s A Whole New Mind? One of the best reads for 2009, I must say. Am trudging through his latest now — DRIVE — on how to motivate them right-brainers who are hell-bent of scoffing the good ol’ carrot n sticks approach.


    Cockwise? You crack me up every time, ma’am

    I actually did a small review of Mr Pink’s book (https://bangkai.wordpress.com/2009/01/03/book-review-a-whole-new-mind/). I absolutely loved it (the book, I mean… not the review)

    Must go out and get DRIVE.

    Happy New Year, ma’am.

  10. Hi Sofian,

    Before you rush out and splurge your hard-earned money (MYR84.90 at Kino) on “Drive”, allow me to finish the book and email you the mind-map to it.

    Unlike “The Whole New Mind”, I find “Drive” a different kettle of fish altogether. Methinks that it has way too much padding (a.k.a stuff that are more useful as small talk at cocktails), for a good 70% of the book. Can’t blame the guy tho’. He used to be a speechwriter for Al Gore *SMIRKS* *SNIGGER*

    So if you would be kind enough to wait awhile and send me your email in the meantime, I would be most obliged.

    P.S: NOW, I remember — your book review on Dan Pink’s A Whole New Mind was what made me chance upon your blog. One good read leading to another good read. I don’t think happystance like that come very often 🙂


    Mind map of Drive? Delicious!

    I will be indebted to you, ma’am. My email is sofian.abdulrahman@gmail.com

  11. ..at my age, sofi?..if ever I see a svelte figure like like spinning on her toes, you have to forgive me if I could not care less whether it is spinning clock or anti..just so that she will listen to my spin..:)


    Somehow I suspect age has nothing to do with this. The male commentators don’t seem to care very much about which way she turns. Notice that?

  12. I know..you men wish we wives still have that svelte sexy shape when we first met and got married right..yeah..we wives still remember those bygone days..but what to doo..dah tua.



    I am tempted – being Mat Bangkai – to rub it in and make some smart alec sexist remark to provoke the more mature female population.

    But you are such a lady… So I won’t.

    Instead I have this to say:

    While us older men occasionally enjoy looking at the sexy kitten with the slender hips and comforting bosom, we know that’s about how far it goes… only looking. It is our dear wives – the ones who have been with us through thick and thin – who are closest to our hearts.

    Just because we may never admit this in public does not mean it is not true. We men just don’t express ourselves very well.

  13. Hey Sofian..thanks..what a comforting reply..there are still many very good men out there rupanya..and you’re one of them!
    Hope most of them will stay this way..hope most men will think like this always.
    As usual we women love repeated assurances..


    Ma’am, this IS how we think (and feel). Though we may not say it, this is the way thing are in our heads – and in our hearts.

  14. Argh…I see her turning clockwise and then anti clockwise, I am getting a headache now!


    Sorry about that, ma’am. Need a Panadol?

  15. Uugh pian, if i see her spinning clockwise and also the tits, both L & R.. does that make me an artsy fartsy man?

    Ekekekeh j/k 😉 thanks for sharing, this is interesting stuff. tapi terpikir la pulak, NDTs takde ke.. the No Brain-ers ;D hehehe dont mind me, i’m just being giddy today.


    Aaaarhgh! You’re an artsy fartsy man???!!!! Oh, no… !

    (joking… only joking!)


  16. mamasita..yes, we men sometime wished..at times at bit wistfully..but as said Sofi..that’s because we are men..but as husbands we realised that shape has got nothing to do with it..and its not because we don’t express ourselves well..its just that some men just dont express..not realising that sometimes its the little things..a glance, a touch, a smile that assure a wife..or any woman..but then, some men, like pakmat, are just rogues…cheers..


    That’s right, we don’t express ourselves. Period. That’s why having to constantly assure and reassure women drives us up the walls, eh? Though I am also a rogue, I know this applies to non-rogues as well.

    Sometimes tho, we endure the experience of having to mindlessly dispense reassurances in anticipation of the benefits this act brings… 😉

  17. MatB,

    Generally, I see her spinning clockwise. Sometimes when I blink, I see her spinning the other way… but only briefly. She somehow manages to do the switch in an instant.

    All that spinning must be giving her a headache… because it’s almost giving me one. I’m always looking hard at the upper part and expecting a certain part of the anatomy to bounce.


    Aaah! Isn’t it funny how we alike we are? I’ve been sitting here watching this graphic for the past 2 days in anticipation of the same event i.e. the bouncing of that part of the anatomy. I’m going through my seventh box of Panadol Actifast right now…

  18. bangsof, peeps,

    those who see her spins clockwise pauses their mind’s eye on the obvious beauty of the lines of her form.

    if you wish to see her spin the other way, you have to look at the beauty of the mechanics of her movement. look at the axis from whence she pirouettes. keep your eye where her feet touch the ground and meet her also twirling shadow.

    before long you’ll train your braineye to see her turn the other way and you can make both your left and right brain take turns at enjoying the world. 😀


    I knew it! It would take a woman to explain this phenomenon. The menfolk are too simply distracted, you see… 😉

  19. Salam,

    Thank you mekyam. Yesterday it was clockwise; and I’m convinced that there no way on earth she’s pirouetting the other way.

    Alas, with you instruction, before long this dancing silhouettes is turning left and right at an instant.

    Mind over matter or is it matter of mind…

  20. Mat-san,

    Sorry, still can`t get used to the “Sofian”..am working on it,ok?Plus, “Sofian” is really a nightmare for the Hiragana or Kitagana purists to transcribe into Japanese characters.

    That silhoutte turns clockwise twice to me, and thereafter, it`s all anti-clockwise.I`ve stared at it numerous times…the cycle repeats itself.I`ve just one comment about her figure..a slightly flatter tummy would make her simply out-of-this world.Well, we can`t have the cake and eat it as well, can we?

    But do you notice something,Mat-san?She just doesn`t piroutte..she actually takes off slightly on that right foot of hers and lands ever so gently on that same foot in every turn.The wonderful thing is, whether she is turning clockwise or anti-clockwise, she takes off only with that right foot.Now, how on earth could she manage that?

    Yes, silhoutte or not, the dame`s mighty graceful!And no, I don`t get a headache watching her.My ideal type of lady…she brings you joy and tranquility, and yet moves ever so silently and unobtrusively, so as not to intrude on your peace of mind, totally respecting your right to some moments of solitude.

    Do they make dames like that any more?(Sigh!)

    Cheers, my friend!

  21. Even I find the tits distracting… hehehe…

    but hey… I do see her spinning both ways. can switch instantly too. hopefully that is not a sign of any brain damage.

    Wonder if I should spin in front of Ayah tonite? The vital stats would be oh so very different though… he’ll probably need Actifast real fast.


    You’re too modest, ma’am

  22. Okay its anti clockwise for me all the way. It didnt change a single bit. So what now? Am I a loony?


    Nah! Its just that your left-brain has dominance over your right-brain. You probably are better at solving puzzles problems than you are at, say, composing a photograph.

    Either way, its no biggie…

  23. bangsof, by your leave…

    dear _deli, thank you for trying out my suggestion. betulkan? we can actually train both sides of our brains to seize dominance even for a second. it’s not an eye trick really, but the “braineye”.

    the thing is the moment you concentrate on the mechanics instead of the aesthetics of what you perceive, you are unwittingly instructing your left brain to take control.

    so likewise, those who only see her turning counter-clockwise could try to deliberately focus on the beauty of her lines and voila you may find her pirouetting clockwise for you too.

    actually we do this switching all the time to some degrees, kan bangsof?

  24. Couldnt see counter clockwise at first. Tried tips from Mekyam, couldn’t get it either. Put the laptop on the floor and see it from top while standing. At last, see both, switching all the time

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s