My name is Wendy Skinner, my stage/performing name is Nesrin (“Wild Rose” in Turkish). I live in Beddau, RCT, South Wales. Bellydance has become very important to me over the last few years and I cannot imagine life without it.
I started dancing as a way of keeping fit in 2004 after holidaying in Egypt. I was mesmerised by the music, the costumes and the way the dancers moved their bodies in such wonderful ways. I returned home with my first coin belt & Arabic CD.
My first bellydance class took place in my living room with an instructional video by Hillary Thacker. After a couple of months, I found a local bellydance class where I could improve on the techniques learnt from the video. My teacher was Sue Lloyd, based in Newport, and has become a very close friend (and also encouraged me to teach others the art of bellydance). I started attending a second class about 1 month later with Sophira Shannon, based in Pontypridd. Although the techniques taught were the same, each teacher had their own, unique style. I had become obsessed, attending 2 classes a week and practicing every day, not to mention spending too much hard-earned cash on costumes!!
I performed my first solo after a year of dancing whilst in Turkey on a dancing holiday. If someone had told me 12 months before that I would be doing this, I would have laughed!! Bellydancing certainly brought out the confidence in me. Within the next 12 months I joined a dance troupe and even made costumes for my colleagues. After realising that I wanted to do more than the other members of the troupe, I went solo.
I stopped attending classes after 3 years as I felt I had learnt all that I could from my teachers and started attending workshops run by International teachers, both male and female. Dancers I have trained with and received inspiration and motivation from include Serena Ramzy, Jillina (Bellydance Superstar), Beatrice Curtis, Yvette Cowles, Maria D’Silva, Yasmin Asar, Yasmina of Cairo, Khaled Mahmoud, Sadie from America, Shafeek Ibrahim, Galit Mersand, Katie Holland and Ozgen Ozgec.
As a bellydancer, I have performed at Porta Tunisia (Tunisian restaurant based in the Red Dragon Centre in Cardiff Bay), The Mediterranean Restaurant (Mumbles) and was the resident dancer in the Mezza Luna (Lebanese restaurant on City Road, Cardiff), dancing every Friday and Saturday night for a couple of years. Other venues I have danced at include Party Ponty, a Civic Ceremony for the Mayor and Mayoress of Pontypridd, various charity nights, private birthday parties, a local wine bar, various haflas, and further afield in Turkey, Morocco and Egypt.
I covered beginner & intermediate classes for other teachers and always hoped that one day I would have my own class to pass on the techniques that I have learnt over the years.