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Dance Until Death… The dancing plague of 1581…

In 1581 a woman from Strasbourg stepped into the street and began to dance wildly. Her name was Frau Troffea and she had no music to dance to and her face showed no signs of pleasure. Her involuntary jig lasted all day long and after hours of exhaustion she collapsed in a sweaty heap.

Within hours she was up again and resuming her silent dance. She danced all through that day until she collapsed and slept briefly.

By the third day Frau Troffea had bloody and bruised feet but her dancing continued. Now a concerned group of neighbours surrounded her as sweat dripped down her back and her shoes filled with blood. Some of them knelt in prayer and others attempted to stop her dance with no success. Continue reading “Dance Until Death… The dancing plague of 1581…”