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Sandancer (or Sanddancer) is a colloquialism used to describe those who come from the town of South Shields, Tyne and Wear, England. The origins of the term are hotly contested, and there are many theories as to where the term derives from, but there is very little in the way of hard facts.

There are written accounts dating back to the 1850s describing the skill of the locals 'Dancing on the sand' whilst helping free ships that had run aground on the beach.[citation needed]

Another popular theory is that it is derived from the term 'Sans Danger', an oblique reference to the town's history of smuggling contraband of French origin.[citation needed]

Sandancer is considered by some to derive from the large number of Bangladeshi, Yemeni and people from other parts of Asia who moved to the region between 1900 and 1920. Others claim this dates back as far as Roman times, as the first inhabitants of Arbeia were Syrian boatmen from the Tigris.[citation needed]

Others believe the term derives from a 1930s music hall act, Wilson, Keppel and Betty, which featured a "Sand dance", though as the act was never performed in the North East, it seems unlikely.

Many people in South Shields area are proud of the moniker "Sandancer."[citation needed]

See also[edit]