Bryden, William “Dizzy”

Dancing master from Workington.  Active c.1902, born about 1857.  Although always known by his nickname, the 1901 census shows William Bryden, dancing master, aged 43, living at 14 Oxford Street, Workington.

He ran classes in Workington and for both schoolchildren and teenagers but he also ran dances for adults.  His wife was a dressmaker and he held his classes in a room above her shop in Oxford Street.  The children’s classes were from 17.00 to 19.30 with the adult dances afterwards.  He played the fiddle for both the classes and the dances.  He only taught social dancing.

His pupils included William Wright form Seaton, who learned from him.  He thought that Bryden had only private pupils and did not run classes.

d’Alberts (incl figures of Waltz Cotillion)
Barn Dance
Caledonians
Circassian Circle
Eight Hand Reel
Heel and Toe Polka
Highland Schottische
Lancers
Mazourka
Military Two Step
Polka
Polka Mazourka
Quadrilles
Schottische
Six Hand Reel
Square Eight
Three Hand Reel
Waltz
Waltz Cotillion

Additionally he taught solo dancing including:

Highland Fling
Irish Jig
Sword Dance
Shaun Trews
Step-Dancing Hornpipe
Sailor’s Hornpipe

Information derived from and interview by Tom Flett with Mr and Mrs Whittle on 4 January 1960 and with William Wright on 17/9/1962.