Definitions for dancing mania

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Freebase

  1. Dancing mania

    Dancing mania 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. One of the first major outbreaks was in Aachen, Germany, in 1374, and it quickly spread throughout Europe; one particularly notable outbreak occurred in Strasbourg in 1518. Affecting thousands of people across several centuries, dancing mania was not an isolated event, and was well documented in contemporary reports. It was nevertheless poorly understood, and remedies were based on guesswork. Generally, musicians accompanied dancers, to help ward off the mania, but this tactic sometimes backfired by encouraging more to join in. 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.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Dancing Mania

    an epidemic of frequent occurrence, especially in German towns, during the Middle Ages, of the nature of hysteria, showing itself in convulsive movements beyond the control of the will, and in delirious acts, sometimes violently suicidal; the most signal occurrence of the mania was at Aix-la-Chapelle in July 1374.

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"dancing mania." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 25 Jul 2014. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/dancing mania>.

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