You can call it a disorder but it's also human nature. I can see this instance being classified as a modern outbreak: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fW8amMCVAJQ
The complexity of human behavior never ceases to amaze me. The more I learn about it, the more I realize how little I know. Here we have numerous documented instances, over several centuries, of people dancing maniacally, unable to stop themselves until they collapse from exhaustion. WTF?
It even has a section on memes, entitled "Popular follies of great cities".
> The section on alchemysts focuses primarily on efforts to turn base metals into gold. Mackay notes that many of these practitioners were themselves deluded, convinced that these feats could be performed if they discovered the correct old recipe or stumbled upon the right combination of ingredients. Although alchemists gained money from their sponsors, mainly noblemen, he notes that the belief in alchemy by sponsors could be hazardous to its practitioners, as it wasn't rare for an unscrupulous noble to imprison a supposed alchemist until he could produce gold.
It totally doesn't sound like the startup ecosystem. ;).
That said, I still can't quite fathom how or why a crowd of human beings will suddenly burst into dance, and do it until their bodies collapse from exhaustion.
Seeing a crowd flailing around to music is much less creepy than seeing a crowd flailing around to silence.
Perhaps it was something similar to this. It sounds like they were shooting in the dark with various different "antidotes".
> The subject feels an undeniable urge to dance and begins doing so, complete with foot shuffling and tapping. The spell effect makes it impossible for the subject to do anything other than caper and prance in place. The effect imposes a –4 penalty to Armor Class and a –10 penalty on Reflex saves, and it negates any AC bonus granted by a shield the target holds. The dancing subject provokes attacks of opportunity each round on its turn. A successful Will save reduces the duration of this effect to 1 round.
For those who haven't played D&D: a level 8 spell is outrageously powerful. Resurrection is a level 7 spell (restoring life to a dead person, even if their body has been mutilated). While "Raise Dead" is a level 5 spell (Restoring life to a dead person, so long as their body hasn't been mutilated). Teleportation across hundreds of miles is accomplished at level 5 spell level. Indeed, "Limited Wish" is a level 7 spell.
So level 8 spells are SERIOUSLY powerful magic. A level of spellcasting that is beyond the abilities of most players, and is basically reserved for the end of very long campaigns.
So "force a guy to dance" has always been silly IMO. But the thought of historical accuracy with regards to "Dancing Mania" has changed my opinion. It would be downright terrifying if fellow villagers suddenly were forced to dance, seemingly unconsciously.