The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday March 30th

Belly dancers shake up Kidzu

Shimmies, hip bumps, snake arms and temple arms were among the belly-dancing techniques five young girls and their instructor taught to a group of parents and visitors at Kidzu Children's Museum on Saturday. The girls, ages 3 to 11, performed for about 25 audience members alongside instructor Terri Allred, stage name Sadiya, as part of Happy Hips Youth Oriental Dance Troupe. Sadiya means "Happy" or "Lucky," Allred said. "Most Oriental teachers select a stage name, and I wanted one that people were able to pronounce, especially for my younger students," Allred said. "And I give my students a stage name, if they want one." She said Happy Hips was inspired by her 7-year-old niece. "She had a birthday party, and I performed for the children and saw that they enjoyed it. From there, I decided that I was going to impact the lives of young girls." The belly dancers began the 30-minute program introducing the basics of belly dancing, including the sound effects used to accommodate certain moves, such as the hissing sound made when the dancer performs snake arms - a wave beginning with one wrist and moving through the shoulders to the other. The Chapel Hill-Carrboro group consists of 10 members and debuted at the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Holiday Parade last year. "It was freezing cold out, but the kids didn't seem to care," she said, adding that the dancers were having so much fun they didn't even notice the judges. The troupe was awarded for being the "most original." Saturday's Kidzu performance began with Sadiya's solo, followed by the Happy Hips girls doing individual improvisations. Yana Levy, 5, was the only one of the group whose choreography included the belly roll - a difficult move for some dancers. Levy, who starts kindergarten today, has been belly dancing for about a year. "I was able to do the belly roll before belly-dancing class," she said. "It isn't very hard for me when I learned it in class." Sadiya and Happy Hips concluded by teaching the audience how to belly dance while wearing a hip scarf, a translucent, silklike fabric with bells and other trinkets attached. Six-year-old Emily Rowan saw Allred perform at the ArtsCenter in Carrboro, where she taught classes. The experience sparked Rowan's own interest in belly dancing. "I like belly dancing because Sadiya teaches belly dancing," Rowan said. "And I like the belly roll the most." Tina Clossick, director of operations and programs at Kidzu, said the troupe matches Kidzu's mission. "We asked Sadiya and Happy Hips to perform because they are a great organization that cares about working with kids and have great intentions like us," she said. Clossick said Sadiya had performed a duet with a fellow belly dancer, Seher, at Kidzu before. "Happy Hips has grown in popularity so much that we have been turning people away when they ask for us to perform," Allred said, "but we wanted to perform at Kidzu because we enjoy working with children." Clossick said there was a bigger turnout to Saturday's performance than with other Kidzu events "because kids love to watch other kids perform." Contact the Arts Editor at


The Daily Tar Heel's 2023 Black History Month Edition

Special Print Edition

Games & Horoscopes

Print Edition Games Archive