Fun Science

The mysterious dancing epidemic of 1518

Dance Frenzy 1518

crazy dancing “epidemic” of 1518 in Strasbourg: “Some time in mid-July 1518 a lone woman stepped into one of its narrow streets and began a dancing vigil that was to last four or even 6 days in succession. Within a week another 34 had joined the dance. And by the end of August, one chronicler asserts, 400 people had experienced the madness, dancing wildly, uncontrollably around the city.”

Waller, J. C. (2008). In a spin: the mysterious dancing epidemic of 1518. Endeavour, 32(3), 117–21. doi:10.1016/j.endeavour.2008.05.001

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