Smoke begins to rise from the long-dormant collieries of the Northeast. Wheels begin to turn as the unstoppable chorus of hammers, picks and jigs breach the surface. From Walbottle to Winlaton, from bar tops to wood floors - A sleeping leviathan stirs on Tyneside.
The fog on the Tyne lifts – giving way to the triumphant glint and clash of swords, as Rapper returns to its homeland; its breeding ground and those who come to immerse themselves in its very roots realise that this is no fog at all. It is the all-but settled dust of a by-gone age of blood, sweat, coal and steel, mettle, fettle and pride.

DERT 2019

5-7 April
Have you got the bottle?

The Newcastle Kingsmen, Sallyport Sword Dancers, and Star and Shadow Rapper invite you to compete or spectate at the annual Dancing England Rapper Tournament, held this year in Newcastle upon Tyne.

DERT Newcastle

DERT (Dancing England Rapper Tournament) is the annual competition for rapper teams from across the world. It takes place over a spring weekend, in a different location every year, hosted by a local team – this year, rapper returns to its spiritual home, the North East! Your hosts will be the Newcastle Kingsmen, Sallyport Sword Dancers and Star & Shadow Rapper.

What to expect at DERT 2019, 5th-7th April:

Friday 5th:

This year there is a pit village coach tour! During the day, there will be a coach tour of some of the pit villages where rapper has its roots.
Evening shenanigans – everyone gathers together for beer, gin and chat.

Saturday 6th:

Whip the Cat – winners of DERT 2018 in Sheffield

The main event! Anyone can watch in the public venues, for free.
Teams in the main competition will dance in FIVE PUBS in the Ouseburn – one dance in each pub in front of at least two judges.There are additional competitions at other venues:

  • DERTy Youth (12-18).
  • DERTy Junior (under 12s).
  • Spotlight – a single staged dance.
  • Traditional – the dance must be from accepted traditional notation.
  • Veterans – combined age of the five dancers must be over 250 years.

The day culminates in the Showcase – a ticketed evening show of all dances, usually comedy versions, this year in the iconic Tyne Theatre and Opera House, with prizes awarded at the end.

Sunday 7th:

The winners run a rapper workshop in the morning for anyone to attend (despite hangovers), before the organisers hand over to next year’s hosts.