Here at the Modern Ballroom Dance Studio, we live to dance, which is why we love to learn as much about the subject as possible. Here are some of the most unusual facts we’ve discovered about dancing:
Dancing Plague of 1518
In July 1518, the city of Strasbourg was struck with a dancing plague. It all started when a lady named Frau Troffea couldn’t stop dancing. After nearly a week of uncontrollable gyrating, over 30 other townspeople also spontaneously began dancing as well. Over 400 people joined the hysterical marathon dance session, and many of them dropped dead out of pure exhaustion.
What on earth happened in Strasbourg? Some historians believe that the city was inflicted with stress-induced psychosis. The region had already suffered from famine and diseases, including syphilis and smallpox. With so many people dying, the survivors simply couldn’t handle the stress.
Another theory is that locals unknowingly consumed the ergot fungus, which was basically an organic version of LSD. However, such a fungus was highly lethal and would have simply killed people rather than cause them to hallucinate and dance.
We may never know the exact cause of the dancing plague, but we do know that there were at least seven other similar cases of it during the medieval period in the same area.
Man Dies While Dancing to “Gangnam Style”
In 2012, the pop song Gangnam Style became a viral sensation. Performed by Korean pop singer Psy, this song features a ridiculous dance that seemingly mimics the movement of riding a horse.
When a British man performed the energetic dance moves at his office Christmas party the same year, his dance moves would prove fatal. Eamonn Kilbride died of a heart attack after overexerting himself dancing.
Tupac Shakur’s Other Hidden Talent
Not only was Tupac Shakur a rapper, he was also a talented ballet dancer. Who would have guessed that a rapper with such a tough persona had such sweet dance moves? In high school, Shakur attended the Baltimore School For the Arts, where he took dance and acting classes. In fact, Shakur was such a gifted dancer that he joined the 127th Street Ensemble, a theater company in Harlem.
Sustainable Dance Floor
Have you heard of the Sustainable Dance Floor? The kinetic energy from dancing generates electricity in cities such as Rotterdam. Believe it or not, these dance floors can produce quite a bit of electricity.
Did you know that one tutu can use over 100 yards of tulles and require as much as 60 to 90 hours of labor to create? A top-of-the-line tutu could cost as much as $2000.
Christopher Walken Was a Dancer
Believe it or not, before Christopher Walken gained fame as an eccentric actor, he was a dancer. In fact, he started taking dance lessons in Queens when he was only three years old. By the time he was a teenager, he took up acting as well. By the late 1960’s, Walken danced and acted in Broadway musicals, including the Broadway production of The West Side Story.
Now that you’ve been enlightened by so many oddball dance facts, you may want to dance yourself (as long as it’s not Gangnam Style). Sign up for our adult dance classes at the Modern Ballroom Dance Studio in Woodbridge.