T is for Tarantism

There are at least a dozen SEPARATE songs with the title Dance with Me, or a variation (Dance Wit’ Me. e.g.) that charted on the US charts.

dance1Tarantism (n.) is an illness characterized by the sudden urge to dance. More specifically, according to Merriam Webster, it is “a dancing mania or malady of late medieval Europe popularly regarded as being caused by the bite of the European tarantula (Lycosa tarentula).”

Here’s an interesting article about the topic. As I suspected, the dance the tarantella is tied to this narrative; see an example of that dance HERE.

I’m convinced that just about any kind of dancing will heal the spider’s bite.

25 Amazing Dances From Around The World, and a really cool site, Discover Folk Dances from Around The World, unfortunately with some dead links. And THIS (don’t know if it works if you’re not on Facebook).

Top 10 Dance Movies according to Mojo.com; I’m sure you’ll disagree with some of the picks, as I do.

There are at least a dozen SEPARATE songs with the title Dance with Me, or a variation (Dance Wit’ Me. e.g.) that charted on the US charts! I’m not talking covers, I’m talking totally different words and music.

Some of MANY dance songs to LISTEN to. (Ranks on US Billboard pop charts.)
The Jackson 5 – Dancing Machine (#2 in 1974)
David Bowie – Let’s Dance (#1 in 1983)
Billy Idol – Dancing With Myself (#102 in 1983)
Bruce Springsteen – Dancing in the Dark (#2 in 1984)
Martha and the Vandellas -Dancing in the Street (#2 in 1964)

Finally, LISTEN to the only song to be #1 on the US pop charts in two non-consecutive years. Did you know what it was? The years, BTW, were 1960 and 1962.


ABC Wednesday, Round 15

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. i hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

18 thoughts on “T is for Tarantism”

  1. Well, what is the modern version of the urge to dance!!!! Enjoyed the video, – thanks for sharing this interpretation of medieveil enthusiasm for dancing, Roger.

  2. Coming from a family that has loved dancing for at least 4 generations that I know of, I love your post. My maternal grandfather was a great dancer, and my mother taught me how to twist when I was a toddler. I passed that love of dance to my daughters, and one of them even took dance lessons throughout Elementary and High School. I’ve also watched almost every one of those movies on Mojo’s top 10. Although the plots were not always the greatest, the dancing was superb. Thanks for the memories and have a happy Thanksgiving Day!

  3. A new word for me. I wouldn’t want to be bitten by a tarantula just to dance 🙂 The link to world famous dance was good, thanks for that. Glad to see Indian dance ‘Bharat Natyam’ too features in the list.

  4. I learned about this in my first year of junior high back in the years when they still consideredmusic an important part of the curriculum.

  5. When my husband hears ABBA and Beegees, I think he has Tarantism.We went to a Beegee show, he left the seat and disappeared. He had gone to the back to join others having Tarantism. I was crossed with him. I told him, he could have told me, other wise, people would think I had a fight with him and he left.

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