Rapper is a type of sword dance that comes from the Newcastle area, in the North-East of England. The dancers carry "swords" that are very flexible, with a wooden handle at each end. There are normally 5 dancers, plus a "Betty" (a man dressed as a woman), a barker (known as a "Tommy")who comments on the action and keeps the crowd amused, plus a musician. The dancers have a sword in each hand, and go through a series of figures which are done at speed, making different patterns with the swords, and also performing jumps and tumbles. It takes a lot of practice to get right!
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