Traditional sword dances are found all over the world - and England can boast two traditions of its own.

Longsword dancing is done with rigid swords, made of wood or metal. It's thought to originate from the Yorkshire area, and there are varying traditions and styles from the different villages. Longsword can be danced at a fairly sedate pace, or at a faster running speed.

Rapper dancing comes from the mining villages of Northumberland. It's danced with short, flexible swords and is done very fast! The dance can often be quite flambouyant, with jumps and somersaults not uncommon these days.

Both dances are characterised by the formation of the lock, or star, where all the swords are locked tightly together and held up for the crowd to applaud.

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