Growing up in a dance environment, Celi Shinn is beginning her 34th year as a dance educator. Her mother, Mary Lou Sheffield Noletto, founded Sheffield School of the Dance in 1943 where it has been a benchmark in the Mobile dance community for the past 65 years.
Celi began her early training with her mother Mary Lou at age 4. As she moved on towards her professional career she studied under Master Teachers and Dance Greats such as Sonya Arova, Thor Sutowski, Roni Mahler, Lea Darwin, Susan Quinn & Michael Williams, Luigi, Gus Giordano, and Frank Hatchett.
In 1979, Celi danced professionally with the Saratoga Ballet Company in Saratoga Springs, NY. Under the direction of Madame Phylis Latin, she performed in various productions and taught Jazz at the American Dance Center. Upon her return to Mobile, Celi served as choreographer for the America’s Junior Miss local program for five years, and was a faculty member for the Alabama School of Fine Arts’ Summer Intensive.
Celi’s Award Winning competition group, The Sheffield Dancers, have been recognized across the country by various dance organizations for many years. Celi’s choreography has been awarded several National Choreography Awards and her dancers have appeared on ESPN with Paula Abdul. With Tremaine Dance Conventions, Celi’s work has been awarded 22 “Best of Show” titles, the first two “National Performance of the Year” titles, and 8 “National Dancer of the Year” titles at the Orlando National Finals.
In 2005, Celi directed and produced Imagine… A Performance for Life, a benefit concert for Dancers Responding to AIDS. This project, which she claims to be her most rewarding endeavor, was backed by the City of Mobile and drew tremendous community support by raising over $10,000 for this wonderful organization.
Celi’s passion and love for dance is continuing through her students, many of whom are currently working professionally with the American Ballet Theatre, The Radio City Rockettes, The New York City Ballet, Houston Ballet, Disney Tokyo, Various Cruise Lines, and Tremaine Dance Conventions. Her students have also worked with major recording artists such as Usher, Black Eyed Peas, Pink, Outkast and have appeared on the MTV Video Music Awards, Latin Billboard Awards, National Commercials, and productions across the world including the European tour of Grease, the World Music Awards in Monaco, and Sigfried & Roy in Las Vegas.
Celi and her husband, Donnie, have been married for 26 years and have two sons, Colby and Gabe.