Shayleen Ann Stafford was the middle child sandwiched between two sporting brothers. Her dad was a former rugby player and a welder by trade, her Mum was a nurse. No one called her by her first name, to family and friends she was always Shay. She lived in an old Queenslander in suburban Brisbane.
Her early life was a combination of weekend sport and backyard trampolining until she turned six and started ballet classes. Inspired by the TV show ‘Fame’ she devoted her teens to dance, never thinking that she could make a living as dancer. But at the end of school she did, scoring a coveted dance role in a Brisbane cabaret show choreographed by Todd McKenney.
She went on to dance in Japan and Malaysia before taking a chance and flying to Paris on the promise of an audition at the Moulin Rouge. Twelve years of highkicking later, she had risen to the top of both the Moulin Rouge and Lido – becoming a lead dancer at both.
Shay lived in Paris until recently with her husband and their young children Flynn and Rose. After twelve years as a Paris showgirl, Shay hung up the sequins and heels and sat down with her author husband, Bryce Corbett to record her experiences. The family returned to Australia this year.