Alexandria, VA

(Updated at 9:30 a.m.) The annual Dance America Rapper Tournament (DART) will take over several pubs in Alexandria this Saturday, October 26, with the public invited to witness the fun.

From 1 p.m. until late into the evening, the sword dancing competition tour will kick off across three pubs in Old Town and end with a celebration at the Durant Arts Center (1605 Cameron Street).

Inspired by British competitions, DART is an organization that hosts an annual competition of American sword dancers.

No, they’re not rhyming verses while swinging swords — “rapper” is a type of old English sword dance dating back to 1715.

According to the event website, “the weekend aims to be a friendly gathering of sword teams, with the added bonus of the rapper competition.”

From approximately 1-3 p.m., different teams will rotate through at rapper competitions at the following pubs:

  • The Light Horse, 715 King Street
  • Columbia Firehouse, 109 South St. Asaph Street
  • Bilbo Baggins Restaurant and Green Dragon Pub, 208 Queen Street

At 3 p.m., all teams will reconvene at the Bilbo Baggins Restaurant for a communal dance.

Afterward, there will be an evening of feasting and celebration at the Durant Arts Center beginning at 6 p.m. At 8 p.m., there will be “Ceilidh Dancing” performances, along with live music from local musicians Frog Hammer and Caroline Barnes.

The Durant Arts Center event will have a $15 admission, along with a cash bar.

Photo via Sligo Creek Sword/Facebook 

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