Historical records show that the Dance Fever of 1518 was a month-long plague of inexplicable dancing in Strasbourg, in which hundreds of people danced for about a month for reasons that are still unclear, but that historians believe was related to either the ingestion of ergot, a psychotropic mould that grows on stalks of rye, or that victims were in some kind of trance, a kind of mass hysteria. Several of them danced themselves to death. In fact, there had been as many as ten dancing epidemics before 1518, one in 1374 engulfing many of the towns of modern day Belgium, north-eastern France and Luxembourg.
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