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Crook Rapper had a grand day out in Lancaster City Centre on Saturday 19th October.  Our guests were Suzanne Ambrose (flatfooting and Appalachian), four clog dancers and 2 musicians from Westmorland Step and Garland, and the newly formed Lancaster University Sword Dance Team (LURST).  We had only made firm arrangements for morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea, as we were hoping that the weather gods would smile on us and allow us to do most of our dancing outdoors!

Initially the weather looked dire, with heavy rain and strong winds early in the morning.  However, by the time we all met at our first spot, The Music Room café on Sun Street, the rain had stopped and it was drying out nicely.  After the essential injection of high quality Atkinson’s coffee to get us going, we braved the slippery paving slabs to dance to a small, select audience at the lovely square outside the café.

Moving on, we set up in the market square, where the many different stalls were attracting people out despite the weather.  We gathered a good audience who were very appreciative of our variety of dance styles, and we stayed there for about an hour.  We then attempted to dance inside the St Nic’s arcade, but after only 2 dances a large security man in a hi-viz tabard moved us on.  Their loss was Penny Street’s gain, as we swiftly decamped to Horseshoe Corner and completed our set to another large and appreciative audience.  We finished the morning by dancing in front of Queen Victoria (the statue, not the person) in Dalton Square, before visiting The Sir Richard Owen pub for lunch.

The afternoon saw us dancing at the top of Penny Street, and then moving back to the Market Square, where we gained a fresh large audience.  We repeated our repertoire, ending with an “audience participation” rapper dance for the children who were enjoying the show.  It was then off to The Priory Hall café, where Ian gave us a warm welcome and allowed us to dance on his stunning maple-wood floor.  Finally, we relaxed with some more Atkinson’s tea and coffee, and a selection of their marvellous cakes.

We had a great day, and would like to thank our guests for joining us and making the entertainment varied and exciting.  It was LURST’s first tour off of the University campus, and we hoped we showed them what fun it is getting out and performing in public after all the hard work practising.  We would also like to thank Ian at Atkinson’s for making us so welcome in his cafés.  We hope to return to tour Lancaster again before too long.

Photographs by Alan Phillips of Lancaster

Rapper Tour 19th October 2013