A distraction - men dancing in a pub

18 March 2013

I am sure that most people are familiar with Morris Dancing (well at least most people in England).

But I suspect that most people are not so familiar with a form of dancing originating in the North East of England which to the uninitiated is similar to, but clearly distinct from, Morris Dancing - Rapper Dancing.

You can read a full account of the history of Rapper Dancing here or you can just enjoy this little film.

It can get very frantic and is always inside, which can make the tumbles quite interesting!

And, dear reader, I was there.  A couple of Saturdays ago I was to be found squished into the corner of a cosy pub in Burton on Trent enjoying DERT 2013 (Dancing England Rapper Tournament).

If you like folk music then you will probably enjoy this.  Although the tradition comes from the North East there are now teams from all over.

And while it might be a male tradition it is not solely their preserve.

These ladies are called Star and Shadow.  And they won DERT this year.

And if you are wondering about the persons doing the talking then traditionally you should know that the teams had a Tommy and, sometimes, a Betty.  Their job was to whip up the crowd, and in DERT there is still an award for the best Character.  Neither of these teams sported a Betty this year, but other teams did.  If you are interested have a little google and see if you can find other teams with their Bettys running amok!

Truly eccentric and good fun.

Normal service will be resumed!


  1. I had never heard of Morris Dancing let alone seen it. Thanks for sharing!

    1. If you live in England then you would be familiar with it. And it's not very 'cool'. I know I have a few readers from across the pond (and beyond) and have no idea how well known Morris Dancing is beyond these shores.

      But this is something else! Rapper dancing is 'cool' and pretty damn exciting to boot!

      Thanks for stopping by.

  2. I loved the Morris dancing in England they used to have a festival in Adderbury every year, I havent ever heard of the rappers though, I enjoyed the little videos having my breakfast and thought about a shopping trip to Burton, my daughter lives just 20 minnutes away.If you are interested in dance, like myself although, I cannot remember the name of the group but my friends daughte is in a rock belly dancing group and travel around, they are amazing, wish I was young and slim. Sorry have gone on a bit but have a good day.xxJ

    1. It originates in the NE but is travelling a bit.

      Thanks for stopping by and hope you had a good day too.

      BTW - I really liked Burton on Trent and the surrounding country side looks lovely.

  3. I've seen Rapper Dancing a couple of times in real life. Not least at the Ireby Folk Festival in Cumbria last year in a production called 'Time Gentlemen Please'. It was phenomenal, done at speed in places and how they didn't cut someone's head off I do not know! Wonderful!

    1. People do get a bit bloodied!

      It is pretty amazing. I do enjoy DERT.


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