Teams

We’ve got teams from across the country joining us for the 2023 SDU competition in Sheffield.

Amble Sword

Based in Amble, Northumberland, Amble Sword have been dancing since February 2018. They aim to revive Amble’s traditional longsword and rapper heritage that flourished in the 19th and early 20th centuries until the 1930s. Dances are for five swords, which is believed to be the traditional Northumbrian style. Northumbrian music accompanies the dance.

Competing in: Display only
See them at:
10:30 – 11:00 – Town Hall
11:10 – 11:40 – Winter Gardens
11:50 – 12:20 – Orchard Square
12:40 – Channing Hall
12:30 – 13:00 – Orchard Square

Claro Longsword

Harrogate-based Claro Longsword evolved from Claro Sword & Morris Men and perform Yorkshire Longsword dances, both original, and of their own design in the traditional style.

Competing in: Display only
See them:
10:30 – 11:00 – Orchard Square
11:10 – 11:40 – Winter Gardens
11:50 – 12:20 – Town Hall
12:30 – 13:00 – Winter Gardens
12:50 – Channing Hall

Grenoside Sword Dancers

Grenoside Sword Dancers are one of Sheffield’s two traditional dance teams. They can trace the Grenoside Sword Dancers back almost 200 years, though it’s possibly much older. The Grenoside Sword Dance is a unique sword dance. Although many of the moves it contains can be found in other sword dances, the dancers wear clogs and perform a breakstep between figures. The dance also features the ritual ‘beheading’ of the captain near the beginning of the dance.

Competing in: Display only
See them:
16:00 – Croft House Hall

Handsworth Sword Dancers

The Handsworth Sword Dancers are Sheffield’s other traditional longsword team, with a history going back at least 150 years. Having won Best Traditional Dance, Best Own Dance, Best Music and Best Overall Performance at the SDU competition 2022 in Southport, the team are not competing in 2023 in order to focus on putting on a great day for everyone attending!

Competing in: Display only
See them:
14:00 – Croft House Hall
16:10 – Croft House Hall

Lord Conyers Morris Men

Lord Conyers Morris Men have been dancing for coming up to 50 years. They dance mainly Cotswold Morris, but have always included a longsword dance and the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance. They have also performed Rapper Sword, Border Morris, Mummers Plays and The Derby Tup.

Competing in: Longsword as a Second Language
See them:
10:30 – 11:00 – Winter Gardens
11:10 – 11:40 – Town Hall
11:50 – 12:20 – Orchard Square
12:30 – Channing Hall (competition performance)
12:30 – 13:00 – Town Hall

NYFTE

NYFTE (pronounced ‘Nifty’) is the National Youth Folk Troupe of England, a talented group of young people aged 10 – 18 with a passion for traditional music, song and dance. Members, who come from all across the country, meet together in the spring to put together their repertoire, and then travel to locations across England performing at events in a variety of ways, including ceilidhs, displays and concerts. The repertoire represents many English traditions, some popular and some less well known, including their own, Handsworth-inspired, Longsword dance. With such a wide range of traditions and styles, you might be thinking ‘Jacks of all trades, masters of none’! But you’d be wrong, they are quite simply Masters of everything they do!

Competing in: Own Dance, Longsword as a Second Language
See them:
10:30 – 11:00 – Orchard Square
11:30 – Channing Hall (competition performance)
11:10 – 11:40 – Town Hall
11:50 – 12:20 – Winter Gardens
12:30 – 13:00 – Town Hall

Twin Sword

In what must be a world-first, Twin Sword are a team of twins who dance with swords (as the name would suggest). All Sheffield-based and having met as babies, they have recently learnt and developed their own dance at workshops at Sidmouth and Whitby Folk Festivals. As definitely the youngest team, with a combined age of just 54, they are excited to share their dance with seasoned longsword professionals.

Competing in: Own Dance
See them:
10:30 – 11:00 – Town Hall
11:10 – 11:40 – Orchard Square
11:50 – Channing Hall (competition performance)
11:50 – 12:20 – Winter Gardens
12:30 – 13:00 – Orchard Square

Sallyport Sword Dancers

Founded in 1969 Sallyport are based in Swalwell, Tyneside (where Cecil Sharp saw his first ‘rapper’ sword dance in 1910) at the famous Sun Inn. Named after a tower on Newcastle’s city walls, they perform the short-sword ‘rapper’ dances and a unique traditional longsword dance from Poppleton, near York.

Competing in: Traditional Dance
See them:
10:30 – 11:00 – Winter Gardens
11:20 – Channing Hall (competition performance)
11:10 – 11:40 – Winter Gardens
11:50 – 12:20 – Town Hall
12:30 – 13:00 – Orchard Square

SHH Sword

A group of friends originally from all over the place who get together occasionally to do the Boosbeck sword dance. Entering and attending the SDU Competition for the first time having considered it for several years!

Competing in: Traditional Dance
See them:
10:30 – 11:00 – Town Hall
11:10 – 11:40 – Orchard Square
12:00 – Channing Hall (competition performance)
11:50 – 12:20 – Town Hall
12:30 – 13:00 – Winter Gardens

Southport Swords

Still performing after 55 years, Southport Swords coalesced in 1968 from friends seeing sword dancing at festivals. Initially trying out the traditional Flamborough dance before concentrating on North Skelton. For the last quarter of a century we have been developing our own oeuvre, revitalising longsword in it’s first recorded home.

Competing in: Own Dance
See them:
10:30 – 11:00 – Town Hall
11:10 – 11:40 – Orchard Square
11:40 – Channing Hall (competition performance)
11:50 – 12:20 – Winter Gardens
12:30 – 13:00 – Orchard Square

Sullivan’s Sword

Sullivan’s Sword, dancing in maroon & gold waistcoats and green moleskin trousers, are Nottingham’s sole dedicated longsword side. They have been performing for almost 50 years since branching out from the Owd ‘Oss Mummers in 1975, and include a variety of traditional dances in our repertoire.

Competing in: Traditional Dance
See them:
10:30 – 11:00 – Winter Gardens
11:10 – 11:40 – Orchard Square
12:10 – Channing Hall (competition performance)
11:50 – 12:20 – Winter Gardens
12:30 – 13:00 – Town Hall

Wath Morris

Started as a revival Cotswold morris side in 1972, the team have grown to performing the dances of Bledington, the Welsh Borders and perform mummers plays in the winter and for the last 15 years have included the Flamborough Sword Dance in the repertoire.

Competing in: Longsword as a Second Language
See them:
10:30 – 11:00 – Orchard Square
11:10 – 11:40 – Town Hall
11:50 – 12:20 – Orchard Squre
12:20 – Channing Hall (competition performance)
12:30 – 13:00 – Winter Gardens