Dirk Dance.... by Anthony Archibald
From 1952 to the
mid 1960s, 'The Southern Manx Folk Dance Society' under the leadership of Leighton Stowell, entertained fortnightly in a large
dance hall called 'The Hut'.
"My mother, Gladys Archibald and my brother, Roadley, were both members of this society and took part in these
events regularly, so I accompanied them and took part in the group dancing myself from the age of 7. Roadley was a solo dancer
as well as dancing in the group dances. In particular, he used to perform a dance called 'The Dirk Dance of the Kings of Mann'.
This dance dates back to Viking times, and the performer dressed in a costume of a Viking. (Well, as mother made the costume,
it was a Viking costume according to her, but was not made of authentic traditional materials. Still it looked good!!)
Later, when my brother left the island to go to college, I took over as Dirk Dancer and performed in The Hut
as well as other venues."