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Thrales is a sword dance team from the London borough of Southwark; bringing culture and enlightenment to the congestion charge zone and beyond.


Spawned from the coal mines of south Middlesex in 1994, we perform both original and traditional rapper sword dances.

We are an active and award winning team, with monthly dance-outs, and bookings for festivals and events throughout the year. Every November we also host our own annual weekend of dance.

To find out more about us, our origins, and why we always look so serious, take a look in the Vault.

We are proud to be a welcoming, diverse and hospitable team, providing a safe and progressive space for all men and those who identify as men, trans or non-binary. We oppose those who seek to appropriate folk and folk dance for a right-wing agenda and reject racist and nationalist politics and those who promote them.


Rapper sword dance is a fast, exciting and occasionally acrobatic tradition from the industrial North of England​. 


Originally developed by miners and performed in their local pubs, rapper is a high-octane dance, at its best in the confined space of a busy bar. 

Performances of rapper often include the antics of two anarchic characters, “Tommy” and “Betty”, who interact with the audience and the dancers.



Rapper is at its best danced in pubs, but Thrales love to perform at festivals, ceilidhs and weddings, on public transport and street corners, in curry houses and even the odd fountain. We welcome invitations to dance for anyone, literally anywhere.​​

Check out our Diary for a full list of upcoming performances.



We head to a different part of London for a sword dancing pub crawl, from 8pm to last orders...

We mark our birthday with a celebration of traditional folk dance on the second weekend of November.


We perform at all kinds of festivals, events and shindigs across the country throughout the year.

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​We’re a friendly bunch, always on the lookout for new blood. We practice throughout the year on Monday nights from 8–10pm at

Cecil Sharp House in north London. Contact us for details.


Dancers: should identify as male, be able to count up to 8 (or at least 4), and have a good firm grip. No experience required.

Musicians: any and all genders welcome. If you’re itching to play for a team, we’d love to hear from you.

If you’re female and looking to dance rapper in London, contact our sisters in arms, the most excellent Tower Ravens.



Send invitations, requests and recipe suggestions via the contact form below, and follow our adventures on social media.


For your folk festival, pub event, party time, church fete, gala,

Bar/Bat Mitzvah or private function, contact us for

availability and fees information.


Our workshops are free, open to all, and suitable for all levels of experience and none. Group bookings available on request.​


To take part in our weekend of dance or to find out what’s on and where, get in touch or check our Diary for details.



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