Skip to Main Content
Home West O‘ahu Happenings Belly dance classes open to all at UH West Oʻahu

Belly dance classes open to all at UH West Oʻahu


UH West Oʻahu Academy for Creative Media assistant professor Samantha Giridhar (pictured) will present belly dance classes this fall on campus. All are welcome to attend. Image courtesy of Tien Enga of Emotive Lite Foto

Shimmy your way to a great workout, stress relief, new friends, and good times at “Shimmies and Smiles,” weekly belly dance classes this fall semester at the University of Hawai‘i–West O‘ahu.

The classes will be from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. every Wednesday, beginning Aug. 30 through Nov. 29, in the Nāulu Center, C-131. Before the classes officially begin, there will be demonstrations at 12:30 p.m. on Aug. 22 and 23 in the Nāulu Center.

Presented by UH West O‘ahu Campus Recreation, “Shimmies and Smiles” will be taught by UH West O‘ahu Academy for Creative Media assistant professor Samantha Giridhar.

Giridhar’s belly dance classes will focus on foundational movements and drills in the American cabaret style. Students will practice isolating different muscles and flowing through a variety of different combinations. Also, an optional performance opportunity is possible if there is enough interest among students.

“Belly dance as an art form means so many things to me,” said Giridhar, who has been belly dancing for 16 years. “It has been an opportunity for me to learn about a culture that is entirely different from my own, it is where I have made lifelong friends, it is a challenge in the best of ways, it is my candy-coated exercise, and it is an amazing way to relieve stress and have fun!”

“Shimmies and Smiles” is open to all UH West O‘ahu students, faculty, and staff. Participants are recommended to wear comfortable attire that allows for free movement (for example, yoga or workout clothing) and to bring a water bottle to class.

No sign up is needed. Those who are interested can get details and stay up to date on class information by contacting Giridhar at Learn more at Sammie in Hawaii on Facebook and @sammieinhawaii on Instagram.

“Every body is the right body for belly dance,” Giridhar said, “and I invite everyone to shimmy with me and experience it for yourself!”