It wouldn’t be a traditional dance event without a performance or two from practitioners of the bendy sword. We’ve two rapper teams on the programme, representing both Tradition and Revival.
First up are the boys from the village of High Spen in County Durham. Founded in 1926 (the year of the General Strike), the High Spen Blue Diamonds are the only remaining traditional rapper sword dancing team in the world.
They now practice at the Barley Mow Community Centre in Birtley, on Tuesdays from 7:30pm until 9:00pm if anyone’s interested. Ahem.
Representing more of a Revival era are those canny lasses from Newcastle; Star and Shadow. A most excellent women’s team that won the modern DERT competition in 2013 and 2014. Founded in 2007, Star and Shadow also sing songs, like this one; “Five lasses in a gin-mill in Newcastle town. A gin-mill with a dance in, and nice turquoise pants in”. If you ask them nicely, and buy them a gin, they’ll finish the song for you.
There’s a vague rumour about a special rapper performance on the night too. Whether it comes from TeesHyde Steel or some other team, we couldn’t possibly say. No more on that one until the night itself. Unless I change my mind of course.
Until next time.