Meet the belly-dancing Sunderland Santa

Members of Bellydance Moves teach Brian Smith from BeatRoute Disco dressed as Father Christmas how to dance ahead of the Holly Jolly shopping night at the Quayside Exchange to help raise money for Hope 4 Kidz.
Members of Bellydance Moves teach Brian Smith from BeatRoute Disco dressed as Father Christmas how to dance ahead of the Holly Jolly shopping night at the Quayside Exchange to help raise money for Hope 4 Kidz.
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A BELLY dancing troupe put Santa through his paces ahead of a festive party for youngsters with special needs.

Members of Bellydance Moves met up with DJ Brian Smith, kitted out in full Father Christmas costume, to help promote the latest charity drive in aid of Wearside-based group Hope 4 Kidz.

The local acts will both feature at a seasonal shopping and entertainment night at the Quayside Exchange, Sunderland, next week.

The Pennywell charity, which helps children and young people across the North East affected by illness, hardship and disability, is hosting the Holly Jolly event to raise money for its up-and-coming free Christmas party.

Viv Watts, chief executive of Hope 4 Kidz, is confident the fundraiser will be a big success.

“We thought it would be a nice idea to teach Santa a few new moves for the night,” she said. “He did really well.

“In fact, they were dancing so much he split his trousers.”

Held at Passion club, in Holmeside, the party in December will feature a ventriloquist, balloon artists, face painters and mountain dogs.

“It has been running for the past four years and it is always really popular,” said Viv. “We started off with about 60 children.

“Last year, we had 320 and this year is going to be even bigger.

“We’ve got pre-bookings of 250, even before November.”

“There will also be a bouncy castle, petting corner with rabbits and ‘Rolypoly’ the skunk and a buffet.

“The finale of the party is the arrival of Santa Claus.”

The fundraising event will take place at the Quayside Exchange, Sunderland, on Wednesday, November 2, at 7pm.

Tickets are £5 each, including a glass of wine and canapés.

A limited number of stalls are also still available for businesses wishing to sell products on the night.

For more information, to buy tickets or to book a stall, call 534 7788.

Twitter: @sunderlandecho