SHIRLEY FORTENBERRY – Artistic Director

shirleyShirley began her dance training in the UK with the Royal Academy Of Dance, and when she was eight years of age immigrated to Australia and continued her training in the R.A.D and received the highest award of the Solo Seal when she was 16 years old. She joined the Australian Ballet Company and danced in the corps de ballet before moving to London where she joined the London Festival Ballet. Shirley then joined  London City Ballet as one of the founding members and continued to dance  soloist and principal roles with the company for eight years.
After retiring from performing, Shirley returned to Australia and studied for the Royal Academy Dance Teacher’s Certificate. After receiving high honors in the exams, Shirley proceeded to open up her own Dance Academy in the Blue Mountains, outside Sydney, where she had 200 students enrolled in Ballet and Jazz. Shirley moved to Telluride in the early 90’s and started the Telluride Dance Academy. She retired from full time teaching to raise her two children, although continued teaching many classes intermittently throughout the last decade. Shirley also traveled to New York and completed the ABT Dance Teacher’s training course.
Shirley is excited to be returning full time as a member of the Palm Dance Faculty.