In the News: A Cowboy in the Sword Dance

My first front page article! Moving up in the world!
This has never occurred before in the long history of Traunstein sword dance: The appearance of the 16th Sword Dancer of the Gymnastics Club in the Georgirit festival of Traunstein on Easter Monday is also a cowboy! The research student Jeremy Carter-Gordon, born in Boston, Massachusetts has attended the weekly practices since early march. The sword dance was first officially document in 1530 and was revived in 1926, on the 800th Anniversary of the city of Traunstein.
U.S. student Jeremy Carter-Gordon (2nd from left) will dance on Easter Monday with the sword dancers from Traunstein. Since the beginning of March he took part in the rehearsals.
But why does an American want to perform a sword dance anyway? “I’ve started dancing with swords when I was eight years old and I was particularly interested in English sword dances,” he said in an interview in the gym. He did his first sword dance from the British Isles – for example, English Rapper Sword and Long-Sword as a hobby. For several years he studied the subject of Ethnomusicology and Ethnochoreology at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson-in the State of New York. A scholarship enabled him to tour from August 2011 to July 2012 most of Europe and be one of the first ever to to explore the different sword dances in Europe. “To me, this is a great and long-cherished wish come true,” says the US-Boy. He has completed his Bachelor’s degree, he is now aiming towards a Master’s degree and for this he wants to make a thesis about the sword dances.
Jeremy, or as as everyone calls him “fellow dancer”, contacted the Traunsteiner sword dancers through their website. He asked Alexander Schierl if he could observe their “amazing performance during Easter” so he could study it. The Traunstein sword dancers, who participated in the German-American Steuben Parade on 5th Avenue in New York and had a friendly attitude to overseas, did not hesitate long and gave the 22-year-olds an immediate positive response. One condition: He must come to the practices during Lent and participate in the dance on Easter Monday, not just watch the performance! The former captain of the sword dancers, Florian Schützinger, contacted a City Council colleague Burgi Mörtl, to provide grains and quarter for him.
Jeremy has already traveled to several countries in Europe in order to learn about the different types of sword dance. During two months of this he was in England, where the sword dance has a long and great tradition. There he danced with the “Newcastle Kingsmen sword-dancers.” He came to Traunstein from the island of Lastovo in early March and was immediately well received. “I am delighted with this great opportunity to learn the dance,” Jeremy says in his own language, except for “a beer,” or “no,” he says nothing in German.
Jeremy’s note: This isn’t quite true, but I didn’t think my Rosetta Stone phrases along the lines of “Die Kinder trinken Wasser” made much sense during the interview 🙂
Original at:,2149567.html

About Jeremy Carter-Gordon

My blog of a year studying point-and-hilt sword dancing on a Watson Fellowship. Enjoy reading, tell me your thoughts and leave me a comment, or visit my website at
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1 Response to In the News: A Cowboy in the Sword Dance

  1. What a great thing to do, Jeremy!

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