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Sheffield’s Handsworth Traditional Sword Dancers make proposals to ensure team continues. Read on.


September 29, 2014 by tommy

Handsworth Longsword team c. 1910

Peter Machan writes about the Handsworth Traditional Sword Dancers of Sheffield.

After what seems like a long, long summer break we start practices again next Wednesday, Sept 24th at the Handsworth Parish Centre but if membership doesn’t pick up this will sadly be in all probability the last year for the traditional sword team after approx. 150 years of dancing in the Sheffield area.

In a last ditch effort to revive the team by injecting new blood and fresh legs there are a number of proposals for the future way forward. These include opening up the membership to women and moving the practice venue nearer to the centre of things in Sheffield, possibly nearer to the Universities.

Do you have any views on the efficacy of these proposals? What do you think? Have you any other ideas that might have worked for other struggling/ageing teams? Do you want to join or know anyone who does? It’s a great dance and a great team. We don’t want it to simply peter out.

If you are in the Sheffield area then do go along to a practice, or if you know of anyone interested in traditional dance forms, send them this link.

Handsworth can be found on Facebook and on their website.

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Handsworth Longsword team c. 1910

Handsworth Longsword team c. 1910 (EFDSS)


  1. Ellen says:

    It should stay where it is, and rightly be a point of pride for the local community. Moving it to the centre of Sheffield will dilute it. University students are often transient, they generally won’t contribute to the longevity of the team. Support has to come from within the community.

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