Abstract Title:

[Dancing manias. Between culture and medicine].

Abstract Source:

Psychiatr Pol. 2011 Mar-Apr;45(2):277-87. PMID: 21714215

Abstract Author(s):

Katarzyna Prochwicz, Artur Sobczyk

Article Affiliation:

Instytut Psychologii UJ, Kraków.


Dancing mania is a clinical and cultural phenomenon which occurred in Western Europe between 13th and 18th centuries. The term dancing mania is derived from the Greek words choros, a dance, and mania, a madness. An Italian variant was known as tarantism as victims were believed to have been bitten by tarantula spider. Although symptoms of dancing manias were well documented in contemporary writings the exact aetiology of dancing plaques is still unclear. Several causes for dancing mania have been postulated: demonic possession, the bite of tarantula, ergot poisoning, epilepsy, mass hysterias, exotics religious cults. The article contains a review of hypothesis of epidemic dances included both medical and psychological factors.

Study Type : Review

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