Talk:Dancing mania

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Lost History-Medieval Mysteries - Youtube link[edit]

Lost History-Medieval MysteriesTokarski21 (talk) 17:39, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

This article suffers from internal contradiction on the term "Vitus's Dance"

St. John's Dance excerpt[edit]

What is the excerpt in the St. John's Dance section from? What is being quoted from? The only information given is that it's "translated from the German".... -kotra 04:27, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Still unsourced a year and a half later, so I have removed it. The removed text is copied here:
The following excerpt (translated from German) describes a bit of detail surrounding St. John's Dance and its sociological effects:
"This dancing rage doubtlessly had no organic reasons but was caused by mass hysteria breaking out as a result of fear of the Black Death. It started in Aachen [Germany] in 1374 and spread over large parts of Europe. It was Germany where this phenomenon was called 'St. Johannestanz' [St. John's Dance] first. John the Baptist was the patron saint against epilepsy and other kinds of apraxia. The 'dancing epidemic' received its name as an expression for the hope for healing. Later, 'St. John's Dance' was renamed 'St. Vitustanz' or 'Veitstanz' [St. Vitus' Dance], because of a legend about St. Vitus, a Sicilian youth who died during the anti-Christian pogroms of the 4th century. According to this legend, St. Vitus had prayed to God to relieve all those from the dancing rage who fasted the evening before his dying day. The tradition claims that immediately after that a voice from heaven was heard saying: 'Vitus, your prayers are answered'. Thus St. Vitus became the patron saint of all those suffering from the dancing rage."
-kotra (talk) 21:56, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Flagellant connection[edit]

This movement is similar to the Flagellant movement which rose in popularity after the Black Death. The external links discusses the connection, but our article does not and probably should. I've added a "see also" for now. -- 17:00, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

I don't see how, this isn't a movement. -- (talk) 02:05, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

Dancing Mania Link Suggestion[edit]

Lost History-Medieval MysteriesTokarski21 (talk) 15:34, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

LSD Non-toxic?[edit]

Calling LSD non toxic is extremely POV; I demand it be changed at once or I will never read Wikipedia again. -- (talk) 07:09, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Using Wikipedia, you could find out that the toxity level of LSD in humans is actually one of the lowest known with no known human cases of overdose (or disputed). There's lots of research out there if you're interested. --Kosmoshiva (talk) 16:00, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Point of view[edit]

Does it automatically have to be an illness when thousands of people dance together? Just because it appeared as one to contemporary viewers it does not have to mean it was. Maybe, at least in some of the reported cases, people just danced themselves into trance because they wanted to and took psychoactive drugs for fun. We know that phenomenon too: We call it Rave. And to some people that appears as an illness of some kind too, although it is a cultural phenomenon. We should never forget that people had a free will ad a need for some entertainment since the very beginning, and there were always other people judging that. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:01, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

Does this article in any way judge these people? Let me know if you can find an example. Also, check out Dancing Plague of 1518. Sure, people like to dance (except Puritans?), but hundreds of people dancing non-stop for a full month until most of them die is not something that happens without some underlying problem. — Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 05:10, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
I noticed you commented on both the talk page for this article, and that for the similar Tanganyika laughter epidemic. Perhaps you have some underlying difficulty understanding the concept of mass hysteria? I assure you this is a very well known phenomenon, not a hoax or misunderstanding of any kind. -- (talk) 17:05, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Ergotism is incorrect as a concrete conclusion[edit]

Ergotism as a cause for dancing mania has been discredited by historians due to the fact that it causes severe vasoconstriction (contriction of blood flow) to the limbs of sufferers, hence its name St Anthony's Fire, and therefore would make dancing of the kind described for days on end almost impossible. The assertion in this article that it explains all the symptoms of this phenomenon is poorly researched and patently incorrect.

I have made changes to this article to clarify this fact, with references. My main source is, lecture notes from a Mycology lecture which clearly point out its vasonconstrictive properties. The further assertion that it would then not properly explain this dancind phenomenon is from this program on the BBC, ^ a b c Waller, John (2008-09-12). "Dancing death". British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2009-01-16. This reference and its assertion is also listed on the Dancing Plague of 1518 page and it should be included here for accuracy and consistency.

I have also removed two sentences from the scientittic explanations section which were wholly unsupported by any references, the part about ergotism being "easily fatal" and that music would "ironically, only make things worse". These are unscientiffic expressions of opinion, not fact, and should not be included unless they are properly references to a reputable source. Opinions and assertions of the author should not be included. Ed2975 (talk) 00:43, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

"See also" section[edit]

And this has to do what with flagellants? CheeseDeluxe (Feel like talking?) 03:07, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Post-FAC note[edit]

See here. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:39, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

Also, per WP:MEDMOS, the article is likely misnamed, and would be better placed at St. Vitus Dance-- if the article had been named correctly, I would have known to look in. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:41, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
But it's not a medical article, and is certainly not St. Vitus Dance (which is a misnomer). Aiken (talk) 11:25, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
I've fixed Saint Vitus' dance (disambiguation), and redirected all other spellings to Sydenham's chorea, with a dab redirect hatnote. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:00, 25 September 2010 (UTC)


This book may help:

SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:50, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

  • As explained by Colin on your talk, this doesn't have anything to do with dancing mania. Aiken (talk) 11:24, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
  • You need to re-read my talk; Colin's post in no way says the text in the book has nothing to do with dancing mania. It explains the very confusion that needs to be addressed in this article. You can't write a medical FA without a thorough survey of the relevant literature, incorporating WP:MEDRS. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:00, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
  • 'I can't find anything in it on "dancing mania", I'm afraid' ... and in any case, I'm having nothing to do with this if it's going to be turned into a medical article. The leading experts on this believe it was religious, not medical. Aiken (talk) 15:10, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
  • I don't see how you can claim this was "religious, not medical" when the text currently says "Sources agree that dancing mania was one of the earliest forms of mass hysteria". Unless you take the view that religion and "mass hysteria" are the same, but let's not go there.. It would appear there are social, religious and medical aspects to this phenomenon. The behaviour is fairly obviously pathological, rather than healthy or normal, and the lead sentence's description of it as a "social phenomenon" isn't perhaps the most useful classification. I would expect an FA article to draw on the best social, religious and medical texts. Colin°Talk 16:40, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
  • As it's not an FA, and probably never will be, what you expect is not relevant here. Aiken (talk) 17:14, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
  • It is relevant at GAN; I suggest you withdraw the GAN and approach WP:PR instead. This article is not ready for GAN. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:19, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Now why would I do that? I have much better things to do, instead of wasting my time and getting my hopes up for nothing. All you've done here is attacked and criticised my work - not a single word of praise have I seen from you. No wonder people are put off from submitting FAs - or working on articles full stop. I am not in the slightest bit interested in improving this article after your comments. Aiken (talk) 17:32, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
  • But sorting that requires medical statements, and medical text should conform to WP:MEDRS; the topic is addressed in reputable medical sources. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:22, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

A secondary review, per WP:MEDRS:

  • Bartholomew RE (1994). "Tarantism, dancing mania and demonopathy: the anthro-political aspects of 'mass psychogenic illness'". Psychol Med. 24 (2): 281–306. PMID 8084927.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)

SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:53, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

This very same author is already being used in a book I actually have access to. Aiken (talk) 11:24, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
Secondary medical journal reviews are peer-reviewed, hence may be a better source than books-- you need to consider all sources. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:59, 25 September 2010 (UTC)


  • Donaldson LJ, Cavanagh J, Rankin J (1997). "The dancing plague: a public health conundrum". Public Health. 111 (4): 201–4. PMID 9242030.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  • Giménez-Roldán S, Aubert G (2007). "Hysterical chorea: Report of an outbreak and movie documentation by Arthur Van Gehuchten (1861-1914)". Mov. Disord. 22 (8): 1071–6. doi:10.1002/mds.21293. PMID 17230482.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  • Krack P (1999). "Relicts of dancing mania: the dancing procession of Echternach". Neurology. 53 (9): 2169–72. PMID 10599799.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  • Okun MS, Thommi N (2004). "Americo Negrette (1924 to 2003): diagnosing Huntington disease in Venezuela". Neurology. 63 (2): 340–3. PMID 15277631.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)

SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:59, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

The sources listed highlight several problems this article will encounter at FAC, including 1b, comprehensiveness (the Huntington's/Venezuela "dancing mania" is mentioned nowhere in this article, and Venezuela was a major milestone in sorting Huntington's genetics). Considering the references to "dancing mania" in Venezuela, there is also a contradiction in the article wrt this mania dying out earlier. In addition to sourcing, comprehensiveness, and compiance with WP:MEDRS, the article would need a prose polish before re-approaching FAC (in the lead alone we find unencyclopedic language, "dancing mania was not a one-off event"). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:30, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
How many times do I need to say that I'm not going to be working on this to FAC? You're wasting your time telling me how rubbish it is. Aiken (talk) 17:14, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
Nobody has said it is rubbish. When someone takes something to FA, the expectation is that they want to produce "Wikipedia's very best work", and get an honest opinion on whether it has reached that level, and if not, what to do about it. If you just want praise, show it to your mum. I hope you reconsider. Perhaps you need to ask for help getting hold of better sources. Colin°Talk 20:01, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
They have implied it. A bit of balanced criticism would not have gone amiss here. Instead, only the bad points were raised. As I say, I'm not interested in taking this any further, so won't be needing any "better" sources. Aiken (talk) 22:45, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

Meuse in Germany?[edit]

"Another incident, in 1278, involved about 200 people dancing on a bridge over the River Meuse in Germany, resulting in its collapse" - This can't be right as the River Meuse has never flowed through Germany, even in historical times. According to Template:List of rivers of Germany there are some rivers eventually draining into the Meuse, but not in Germany itself ("Some rivers (e.g. Meuse) do not flow through Germany themselves, but they are mentioned for having German tributaries."). Perhaps it's a different Meuse? Jalwikip (talk) 08:15, 11 March 2013 (UTC) --- Meuse not flowing in Germany correct please... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:56, 30 October 2013 (UTC)


I cannot help but notice that the sources for this article about something utterly inexplicable are all Bull Shit. -- (talk) 03:15, 10 November 2013 (UTC)

I am not surprised. Many articles to do with things that are predominantly a form of hysteria or general human behavioural weirdness tend to draw some very ... fringe pseudoscience citations. Just look at things like 'head mates' or otherkin's or multiple-personality-disorder, things that are 100% imagined yet seem to have citations claiming they're real even though all of contemporary medical science disagrees. (talk) 17:09, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

Harlem Shake?[edit]

Surely there must be some connection between dancing mania and... Allen750 (talk) 08:11, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Gendered affliction and the term 'outbreak?'[edit]

It's interesting that the article mentions 'male, female and child' alike when almost all physician notes we have from the time where early physicians procured themselves an 'infected' person are of females, exclusively. From art of the era it is always--on closer examination--females dancing with males restraining them. In notations it is exclusively females affected. This may tap into the hysteria of the witch trials, too. The limitation of male involvement seems to be men chasing their wives or daughters through the crowds to ensure their safety and try and drag them home. Unless someone can find evidence of case files pertaining to men I would strongly urge the article reflect the gender focus as it is a very interesting notable element of this 'mania.'

My second point, the use of the word outbreak. It is not applicable, and very un-encyclopedic for this use. Can we please refrain from and replace the word outbreak with something that is applicable to spontaneous manic episodes? Outbreak gives credence to the claim it's a real disease which it clearly is not. It was probably ergot, in some cases, compounded with odd psychiatric manifestations but it definitely isn't an 'outbreak.' Incident, incidence, occurrence or manifestation would be more apt. (talk) 17:07, 26 September 2015 (UTC)