Shelley began her dance training at the age of 12 in Jackson, Mississippi studying and performing with the Academic and Performing Arts Complex and Ballet Mississippi. While in Jackson, she had the privilege of studying with teachers and coaches from the International Ballet Competition, her first dance history teacher being Thaila Mara. At age 14 Shelley and her family relocated to Savannah, GA, and she became a soloist with Ballet South. She later attended Brenau University on scholarship to continue her dance training with Diane Callahan and the Gainesville Ballet Company. In 1997, Shelley graduated with a BFA in dance pedagogy and recieved the Mary Mildred Sullivan Award, the highest award that a graduate may receive. In 1997, Ruth Mitchell invited Shelley to perform professionally with the Ruth Mitchell Dance Theatre. Since then, she has danced professionally with the Ruth Mitchell Dance Theatre (currently the Georgia Metropolitan Dance Theatre), Gainesville Ballet Company, and as a guest artist with several companies in the Southeast and the Joffrey Ballet II. Shelley has continued her career as an award winning choreographer and teacher as well as Artistic Director for the Atlanta Dance Theatre.