Where Did It Come From?
As it turns out, the origins of "trip the light fantastic" can be traced back to 1386 and Geoffrey Chaucer who, in his Miller's Tale, referred to dancing as "tripping ":
(In twenty ways could he trip and dance.)
And breathe twice; and cry, so, so:
Each one tripping on his Toe,
Will be here with mop (mock), and mowe.
"Come, knit hands, and beat the ground,
In a light fantastick round."
Then, in his 1645 poem L'Allegro, he wrote:
"Sport that wrinkled Care derives
And Laughter holding both his sides.
Come, and trip it as ye go,
On the light fantastick toe."
"Mrs. Crump sat in a little bar, profusely ornamented with pictures of the dancers of all ages, from Hillisberg, Rose, Parisot, who plied the light fantastic toe in 1805, down to the Sylphides of our day."