Choreomania aka dancing plague: was a social phenomenon that occurred primarily in mainland Europe between the 14th and 17th centuries. It involved groups of people dancing erratically, sometimes thousands at a time. The mania affected men, women, and children, who danced until they collapsed from exhaustion.
There is no consensus among modern-day scholars as to the cause of dancing mania.The several theories proposed range from religious cults being behind the processions to people dancing to relieve themselves of stress and put the poverty of the period out of their minds. It is, however, thought to be as a mass psychogenic illness in which the occurrence of similar physical symptoms, with no known physical cause, affect a large group of people as a form of social influence.
so , i have this new fascination with dancing mania .
the latest known report of it was in italy in the late 1950’s .
as few as one child , to entire religious / pagan communities , would be consumed by this overwhelming urge to dance ; many fainting or even dying before they stopped . there was even a large group of children in the 1500s that hopped & skipped from country to country , much like the Pied Piper nursery rhyme . in some cases , if people saw the colors red or black , they would get craaaazy mad & get violent . many people had visions of other dancers that weren’t really there . some heard hypnotic music that was never played . when i was little , i saw a ballet about a girl who stole cursed red pointe shoes , put them on , & they posessed her to dance until she had to cut off her own feet … it was supposed to be a lesson about greed . but the relativity of the time the play was written and the random outbreaks of dancing mania ….
awesomely creepy shit , yes ?
and , this may just be me , but it goes hand in hand with the belief that faeries would lure humans into a festival they were holding for the summer seasons - until their feet bled , or until they died . they wouldn’t be able to stop themselves , as much as they wanted to , because those tricky faery bastards would get them to … pretty much … party until they collapsed .
there are no explanations for why this mass hysteria happened . after 1959 , there were no more accounts of “choreomania” happening anywhere in the world .