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The Sword Dance Union

Founded in 2005, the Union aims to encourage, develop and maintain the traditional sword dances of England.

The Union is run by a small but dedicated group who work hard to support rapper and longsword teams with a communication network.  The SDU promotes the development of all sword teams and their dancing by providing a valuable resource of practical and personal advice and archive material.

Grenoside sword dancers 1969

Grenoside Sword Dancers 1969 (their website)

The Sword Dance Union runs events and competitions all over the UK, giving teams the chance to perform in front of their peers, sharpen up their dance skills and deepen their understanding of the linked sword Tradition. The main annual events are the Longsword Tournament, DERT (Dancing England Rapper Tournament) and the NE Rapper Championship. Details for all of these can be found on the Events page.

The Sword Dance Union believes that only an organisation dedicated to the traditional sword dances of England can optimally promote and preserve these dances. The Union also includes performers of the same dances in the North America and Canada and Europe. Linked sword dances from across continental Europe and Asia are all related and fall within the Sword Dance Union interest.

Loftus Ladies team

Loftus Ladies team (source unknown)

The SDU complements the existing organisations dedicated to traditional English dances, and is therefore committed to working with other organisations supporting the same or similar aims.

Membership of the Sword Dance Union is open to all individuals and sword dance teams who support the Union’s aims and objectives, without restriction by locality, age or gender.

Subscription fees and benefits can be found on the Join Us page


  1. Hi Ed, You’re doing an amazing job here but your map doesn’t show up on my browser (Safari). It wasn’t there when I was in Oz and it still doesn’t appear now I’m back in UK. Cheers, Paul

    • tommy says:

      Hmmm. Others have reported issues with chrome, but I use that and I can see it now. Try googling “can’t see google map engine in safari” and see what comes up.

  2. joe dale says:

    Hi. I am part of the organising committee of the Allen Valleys Folk Festival in October 2015. For the 2014 festival, we had the Kingsmen who were superb. Sadly, they can’t make it this year so I am looking for a replacement group for Saturday October 3rd. Could anyone please get in touch with contact details for an alternative. Many thanks, Joe Dale – 0780 5932155 – Many thanks

  3. Christine Polhill says:

    Looking for a rapper team who would dance at our 50th wedding anniversary party, afternoon of 1st April 2017. This would be at Whittington near Lichfield, can you help with contacts?


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