If you are feeling brave enough, an unusual dance team is appealing for new members to join its well-established crew. Are you up to the challenge?
Taff Rapper, a rapper sword dancing group, wants new recruits to help its fight to win The Dancing England Rapper Tournament in Bristol in April. The tournament is international and known as the highlight of the rapper sword year. So stand to attention, swords at the ready.
Ed Dyson, the team’s squire, said: “We’ve been up and running since April 2014 and are looking to increase our numbers.
“We want to introduce new people to this traditional dance form, which is probably unlike anything anyone has seen before.”
What is rapper sword dancing?
It is a dance performed at high speed by a team of five people who are always linked by flexible swords called rappers. The swords are weaved in and out of figures for display.
A dance is made up of these separate figures which are linked together by synchronised group stepping. These figures involve spins, backward and forward somersaults, jumps and more. Music is usually provided by a solo musician, who plays a traditional 6/8 jig at around 150 beats per minute.
It is claimed sword dancing can improve coordination, help to promote teamwork, and improve fitness and mental agility. Plus you get to do some moderately dangerous stuff with swords. But the team has taken precautions and has full public liability insurance through the Open Morris organisation.
Jo Gravett, winner of the club’s dancer of the month competition, joked: “Don’t worry, the swords aren’t sharp and don’t have a point!”
Taff Rapper is a mixed gender team, with nine dancers and Charlotte who plays the fiddle. Usual practice nights are Thursdays from 7:30pm at the Owain Glyndwr and people aged 16 or over are welcome to come along.