Are you British? Sword Dancing in the UK needs your help! If you are not British do read this post in order to marvel at the close-mindedness of the British Government! (although you wont be able to help by signing the petition as only Brits can sign!)
Annnnyway - the issue is that the Government are about to introduce a Violent Crimes Reduction Bill which, amongst other things, will prohibit the sale or use of swords. I have no argument with the Bill itself as we have a problem with violent crime and need to do something about it. However, because Sword Dancing is not currently recognised as a historical re-enactment or sporting activity this means that those dancers are not exempt from the above bill with regard the use and purchase of swords.
Traditional folklore dance are forms of art that have great historical and cultural significance, indeed, dancers have used sticks and swords as props since the 1700s and probably since before then! I may not be a dancer myself but I have seen these dances and they are quite elegant, particularly the Scottish ones that I am thinking of - all kilts aswirl and pipes playing!
If you are one of those that feels that we are losing too many of our traditions as it is, please do sign the online petition to include sword dancing as an exemption to the Bill. And do let people know about this so that they too can sign the petition before the closing date of the 25th June 2008.