The dancing plague of 1518Dancing is fun, it helps us to express certain emotions we can't really explain. We barely resist the urge to dance with happy friends. But in 1518, at Strasbourg people caught a dancing plague and danced to death.How was this possible?
What caused it?
- In July 1518 a woman, Mrs. Troffea began to dance fervently in a street in Strasbourg. She kept solo for nearly a week but was later joined by 34 people, and within a month, there were around 400 dancers, predominantly female. They kept dancing for days unable to stop.
- Dancing involves most of our muscles and exerts a lot energy, so most times we are dehydrated after a good dance. After extremely long hours of dancing due to the dancing pluage, some of these people eventually died from heart attacks, strokes, or exhaustion.
- Even as they laid on the street near death, their legs continued to jerk and move as if they were still dancing.
- This phenomenon (the dancing plague) was named "Dancing mania". It occurred primarily in mainland Europe between the 14th and 17th centuries with two major outbreak in the Holy Roman Empire, in 1374, and Strasbourg in 1518, and claimed as much as 400 victims.
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