Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Cutting Edge Bid

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Cutting Edge Bid

Article excerpt

Byline: By Sam Webb

Rapper dancers are appealing for cash to educate new recruits in a Tyneside tradition they fear is dying.

The Gateshead-based High Spen Blue Diamonds Rapper Sword Dancers have performed around the world, demonstrating dances that developed in North East mining villages in the 19th Century.

Formed in 1926, the group also visits schools in the area, holding workshops and demonstrations.

They are applying to Gateshead Council for a pounds 500 grant to buy equipment for training in schools.

Group organiser Ricky Forster, 58, said: "We are keeping a tradition alive. Here in the North East we are losing our traditions.

"There are no mines left and it's important to remind people that they were here. I would love more kids to get involved. That's why I am keen to go to schools."

He has been running the group since 1986. His family has been performing the dance for three generations.

Mr Forster was taught the dances by his father, Freddie Forster, and has passed them on to his son Gary, 38. …

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