Shelley Eva Haden

Born in Worcester, trained in Leeds at The Northern School of Contemporary Dance, now a Birmingham based dance artist.

Shelley trained at The Northern School of Contemporary Dance (NSCD), graduating in 2014 with a First Class (BA) Honours Degree. Upon graduation Shelley became one of the first students in the history of NSCD to achieve 100% in her final year solo assessment. Shelley’s solo became part of the following years module and is now repertoire for students to study and perform as part of their 'Performance Practice Module' (2014 - present). 

Shelley has experience in a wide range of styles, one of them being Kathak and classical Indian Dance. She has performed with Balbir Singh and Zoobin Surty, as well as gaining specialist training with Mavin Khoo, Andrej Petrovic, Yen-Ching Lin and Pratap Pawar with the Akram Khan Company. 

Shelley has performed with companies such as: Trash Dollys Dance Theatre, MADDOGS Dance Theatre, Slung Low, Keneish Dance and Balbir Singh Dance. She has worked with choreographers such as Gary Clarke, Tamsin Fitzgerald, Stuart Waters, Jamaal Burkmar and Hagit Bar. 

Shelley started working for Rosie Kay Dance Company in February 2014, where she began touring as the single female soloist in the five star production of ‘5 SOLDIERS’. Since then she has continued work with the company on many projects and performances, including MOTEL, Double Points: K and MK ULTRA.

Shelley was nominated for Outstandimg Female Performance (Modern) in the 2017 National Dance Awards for Rosie Kay Dance Theatre's MK Ultra.

Shelley is a busy and in-demand dancer across the West Midlands and beyond.


Shelley was one of our case studies in 2016, telling us how Dancefest influenced her future career and to show others how they could get involved.

Shelley started dancing with Dancefest at the age of 12 and now dances, teaches and choreographs professionally. 

I have always loved dancing. As a baby, I was wiggling in my pram at the sound of any sort of rhythm. Then, as a teenager, I was forcing my friends out to the garden so we could make up dance routines together. I went to my first Dancefest class when I was 12 – it was a street dance class; I loved it and went back every week. Gradually, I took on even more classes, learning Urban, African and Contemporary Technique. I then joined DFY (Dancefest’s youth company) and WIRE (Worcester youth company). Soon I was with Dancefest four nights a week and my Mum was constantly driving me around!

GCSE Dance wasn’t offered at my school but I was so inspired by all my work with Dancefest that I found my own way to take the exams, outside of school. I then took A-Level Dance, and I wanted to go further, so when my teacher Marcia told me about the Northern School of Contemporary Dance I knew I had to audition. I was up against girls who had been to ballet school and so had a much firmer grip on technique than me, however, my skills in choreography and my passion for performance shone through. I spent three years at NSCD and graduated with 100% in my final exam, the first student to have ever done so.

I have maintained my passion for dance and enjoy a colourful career in performance, choreography and teaching, and there’s no doubt that Dancefest set me on my career path.

With Dancefest, there’s no pressure, just enjoyment. You get to be creative and find your own style. This ethos was essential for my growth and perfect for nourishing my passion. Dancefest is for all abilities – their classes remind me why I dance! We have fun, we sweat, we create. I will be going to Dancefest when I am in my 60s! It’s been a blast!