In 1936, a group of miners in the village of Lingdale in Yorkshire were filmed by Lady Trevelyn, performing their traditional longsword dance. In 1948, Peter Kennedy wrote down all the moves of the dance, which had gained an extra two figures in the intervening years. There's some great photos and newspaper clippings of the original Lingdale Primrose team here and one here.
Lingdale is a village in the North Riding of Yorkshire, and this is the dance that was recorded in that village. Sources for the dance are: 'Longsword Dances' by Ivor Allsop, notes made by Peter Kennedy in 1948, a film made in 1936 by Lady Trevelyn and detailed notes made by Roy Dommett from the film (Dommetts' Morris Notes, Volume 5). We owe thanks to the Sword Dance Union, EFDSS, the Morris Federation and others for helping us trace all this material. The dance changed and evolved over time. Where there are two different versions of a move, we've picked the one we liked best.
We use all the probable traditional tunes (John Peel, Oyster Girl, Lass O' Dallowgill, and Keel Row), but we've had to add a couple (Bobby Shafto and Kafoozalum, which were used by other traditional longsword sides) to allow for the extra figures recorded by Kennedy.
Swords are held in the right hand. The basic move is a brisk walk, going into something that is almost a run with an alternating stamp when the dance suits.
Left foot start. I'm trying to avoid numbers as far as possible, but the lead dancer is number 1 and numbers after that go clockwise around the circle. ie. The dancers walk on in reverse numerical order. 1, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.
Walk On (John Peel) Line up with number 1 at the front, swords resting on right shoulder and almost vertical. Number 1 leads the dancers on stage and into a circle. On the last beat of the music, everyone stops smartly with a stamp step.