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- About Us -

Tower Ravens Rapper Origins

We formed in the wake of DERT 2012. At the time, there were no other women's teams in London. The nearest South East team was Mabel Gubbins in Oxford, which was too far for Londoners to travel. Thrales had held workshops here in London, which women would attend, but there was nothing for them to join in with afterwards.  Simon Vaughan (of Thrales) and Kat Macaulay created a mailing list of women interested in rapper dancing in London.

Then, in 2012, Lindsey Kennedy, Nicola Osborne and Rachel Sheridan, who had all recently moved to London, decided to see if there was sufficient interest to get a team off the ground. Advertising heavily at DERT 2012 (which was in London), and supplemented by the contacts from Simon and Kat, they found enough women interested in dancing to set up a regular practice. Thrales lent us some swords to get us started and the rest is history.

We have many of the original members in the team still and it is really down to them that we have survived and developed as well as we have.

Tower Ravens rapper at their first DERT 2013
Tower Ravens on the cover of Folk London Dec 2013 - Jan 2014
Team Influences 

Thrales are very much our big brother team, we're not sure if we would have ever left off the ground without their input. They lent us our first swords and took us on our first crawl, later they taught us to tumble and in turn how to teach our own new recruits to tumble. Our dance styles are very different and I think always will be, from that point of view we've always loved watching other female teams such as Sheffield Steel, Silver Flame and Whip the Cat - all teams with real excitement and innovation!

Tower Ravens rapper and Thrales rapper Greenwich 10th birthday celebration
Dance Development

As a team our focus is on continuing to develop new and exciting ways of presenting rapper. It’s been a few years since we wrote a new dance, which at the time was far more complex than our first written dance. Writing new figures is generally an experimental team process, headed by a couple of people who can really envision how the swords work together. Our focus has landed on finding new and smoother ways to transition between figures. We have spent a long time focusing on being able to achieve the new moves and have since then continued to change it to make it much more continuous and include things such as a double tumble, which we couldn’t do at the time of writing.

Tower Ravens rapper practice
DERT Achievements 

We've won various awards at the last few DERTs (Dancing England Rapper Tournament, the annual rapper competition in the UK). Most recently we won the overall competition in 2023, alongside an award for the best stepping and music.

Whether we're winning awards or not we're very proud of our achievements and work hard to keep the whole team improving.

When we started most of us had done little-to-no rapper, learning was slow but steady and each new move or step was a real challenge. We’ve had a variety of very hard working leaders to continue the teaching but it is really down to the commitment of each team member that we have progressed from total novices to award winning!

DERT 2023 Overall Winners Photo credit Kev Theaker

Dancing Out 

We’re so lucky to have the entire of London to crawl around, we can easily dance out for over a year before contemplating going back to the same area. Different pubs have different views of us but we generally go down a storm! People love our Tommy (that cheeky beefeater) and always want to pet our raven, George. Generally, London pubs don't have regulars in the same way as smaller towns and cities so we continue to appear as a total surprise, with people chatting to us afterwards saying they’ve never seen anything like it!

Tower Ravens rapper Coach and Horses pub Greenwich at our 10th Birthday Celebration
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