Swords are crossed for dancing contest

The Redcar Sword Dancers entertain onlookers on the square. The team won three accolades at the tournament,  including best overall performance. (S)
The Redcar Sword Dancers entertain onlookers on the square. The team won three accolades at the tournament, including best overall performance. (S)

A day of sword dancing was held in Ripon as teams from across the country gathered to take part in a tournament.

The Sword Dance Union event was organised by two local teams – the Highside Longsword from Kirkby Malzeard and Pateley Longsword – and took place on Saturday, October 12 with the main competition on the market square during the day.

Ted Dodsworth, who is a member of both organising teams, said: “There were large crowds watching adult and junior teams performing modern and traditional sword dances.”

Teams taking part were hosts Highside Longsword and Pateley Longsword plus guests Cinquefoil from Leicester, Claro Sword from Harrogate, Goathland (junior and senior sections), Handsworth from Sheffield, Maltby junior and senior sections from South Yorkshire, Monkseaton Morris Men from Newcastle, Redcar Sword Dancers, Sallyport from Newcastle and Stone Monkey from the East Midlands.

The best overall performance award went to the team from Redcar which also won best musician and best traditional dance.

The Goathland Juniors won the audience appreciation prize while Maltby Juniors won the best juniors award. The prize for best own dance went to Stone Monkey.

Prizes were presented by the Mayor of Ripon, Coun Mick Stanley.

As well as the competition on the square, displays were held at the Spa Gardens, the Workhouse Museum and outside the cathedral.

In the evening, Cinquefoil Rapper from Leicester and Pateley Longsword toured the city’s pubs giving performances before ending up at the Magdalens to dance and play music.

On Sunday there were further performances at Fountains Abbey and in Masham.