Allow our team of elite, hand-picked coaches to guide you step-by-step!

Hey, My Name is Shelly!

I am a former rhythmic gymnast turned professional circus acrobat, specializing in contortion, hand-balancing, and aerial silks.

For over 15 years, I have shared my passion and knowledge of flexibility, hand-balancing and contortion with thousands of students of all ages and skill levels.

In 2017, I opened the doors to ShellyFLEX Athletics Studio in Gaithersburg, Maryland where I hosted group classes, workshops, and private lessons.

Then in 2020, when live performances and in-person coaching were suddenly put to a halt, I sprung into action and launched my online coaching program: FLEX-ED.

What started out as a temporary, short-term solution, with just 2 live classes a week, soon exploded into a full blown coaching program with students from all over the globe, attending classes with myself and my growing team of world class coaches.

I am constantly improving upon the program, through testing, surveying, running beta tests, and interviewing our current and prospective students in order to provide them with as many opportunities for success and growth as possible.

Upon launching, I quickly discovered that this was my opportunity to develop a program unlike any other, centered around a tried and proven formula that could be catered to each individual’s specific needs and set them on a path to achieving their goals and beyond.

Hey, My Name is Shelly!

I am a former rhythmic gymnast turned professional circus acrobat, specializing in contortion, hand-balancing, and aerial silks.

For over 15 years, I have shared my passion and knowledge of flexibility, hand-balancing and contortion with thousands of students of all ages and skill levels.

In 2017, I opened the doors to ShellyFLEX Athletics Studio in Gaithersburg, Maryland where I hosted group classes, workshops, and private lessons.

Then in 2020, when live performances and in-person coaching were suddenly put to a halt, I sprung into action and launched my online coaching program: FLEX-ED.

What started out as a temporary, short-term solution, with just 2 live classes a week, soon exploded into a full blown coaching program with students from all over the globe, attending classes with myself and my growing team of world class coaches.

I am constantly improving upon the program, through testing, surveying, running beta tests, and interviewing our current and prospective students in order to provide them with as many opportunities for success and growth as possible.

Upon launching, I quickly discovered that this was my opportunity to develop a program unlike any other, centered around a tried and proven formula that could be catered to each individual’s specific needs and set them on a path to achieving their goals and beyond.

SF-2
And so, The FLEx-ED Method was born.

F - Foundation
L - Learning the Steps
E - Execution
X - eXponential Results
E - Explore
D - Discover

SF-2
And so, The FLEx-ED Method was born.

F - Foundation
L - Learning the Steps
E - Execution
X - eXponential Results
E - Explore
D - Discover

By building a solid foundation, and learning the steps with proper execution, students have been experiencing exponential growth, that has opened the doors for self exploration and discovery.

With this method, students can master any skill they desire, develop full body awareness, and gain complete confidence In exploring what their body Is truly capable of doing.

 

My team of expert coaches are highly focused on helping students to achieve their goals.

Each instructor utilizes the FLEX-ED. Method to help students build a rock-solid foundation, quickly progress from one step to the next, and ensure that they are executing each drill and exercise correctly in order to prevent injury and guarantee a path to success.

This repeatable process has proven time and time again to help students reach milestones they never thought possible.

In addition to accommodating a wide variety of different learning styles through step-by-step video tutorials, live demonstrations, individualized corrections and feedback, visual cuing, and customized drills and exercises, I also had one other priority in mind:

Developing a community.

By building a solid foundation, and learning the steps with proper execution, students have been experiencing exponential growth, that has opened the doors for self exploration and discovery.

With this method, students can master any skill they desire, develop full body awareness, and gain complete confidence In exploring what their body Is truly capable of doing.

 

My team of expert coaches are highly focused on helping students to achieve their goals.

Each instructor utilizes the FLEX-ED. Method to help students build a rock-solid foundation, quickly progress from one step to the next, and ensure that they are executing each drill and exercise correctly in order to prevent injury and guarantee a path to success.

This repeatable process has proven time and time again to help students reach milestones they never thought possible.

In addition to accommodating a wide variety of different learning styles through step-by-step video tutorials, live demonstrations, individualized corrections and feedback, visual cuing, and customized drills and exercises, I also had one other priority in mind:

Developing a community.

I still find myself waking up in disbelief that I get to work with these amazing people on a daily basis.

This group of talented, hard working, motivated, compassionate, and genuinely kind human beings, is what really makes this program stand out above the rest.

Despite being from all over the world, living in different time zones, and going through a worldwide pandemic, we have created connections that will last a lifetime, I am honored to call these wonderful individuals my friends and family.

I still find myself waking up in disbelief that I get to work with these amazing people on a daily basis.

This group of talented, hard working, motivated, compassionate, and genuinely kind human beings, is what really makes this program stand out above the rest.

Despite being from all over the world, living in different time zones, and going through a worldwide pandemic, we have created connections that will last a lifetime, I am honored to call these wonderful individuals my friends and family.

What’s really exciting is that now that things are opening back up, we’ve started to take these online connections off line!

We’re now finally able to pursue in person workshops, retreats, and group training and it has been such a delight finally getting to meet each-other face to face!

With the combination of the FLEX-ED Method, a rockstar coaching staff, and an incredible, one-of-a-kind community, students have been progressing like never before, and are gaining the confidence to achieve things they never thought possible.

You could be next!

What’s really exciting is that now that things are opening back up, we’ve started to take these online connections off line!

We’re now finally able to pursue in person workshops, retreats, and group training and it has been such a delight finally getting to meet each-other face to face!

With the combination of the FLEX-ED Method, a rockstar coaching staff, and an incredible, one-of-a-kind community, students have been progressing like never before, and are gaining the confidence to achieve things they never thought possible.

You could be next!

Meet our team

Our Team of Experts

Shelly a former rhythmic gymnast turned professional circus acrobat, specializing in contortion, hand-balancing, and aerial skills.

She has had the opportunity to perform all over the United States in productions such as "Pippin the Musical" on Broadway and for the premiere of Cirque Du Soleil's Kurious. She has also performed internationally at special events in Hong Kong, Italy, Puerto Rico, and the Bahamas.

In addition to performing, Shelly has been teaching flexibility, hand-balancing, and contortion to students of all backgrounds and levels of experience for more than 15 years!

She is extremely passionate about sharing her knowledge and experience with flexibility, hand-balancing and contortion training and is excited to help you achieve your goals and perform skills you never thought possible.

Artur is recognized as one of the best hand-balancers in the world. Born and raised in Ukraine, he has performed all over the globe with Cirque De Demain and other cirque productions

He is very passionate about hand-balancing, and loves to invent moves and tricks that challenge gravity.

By incorporating his experience and knowledge as a professional hand-balancer, intermediate-advanced students will see great progress through his transformative classes.

Artur has a unique gift when it comes to coaching. He is able to identify small adjustments that have a significant impact on your handstand technique. He is extremely patient, understanding, encouraging and always brings a positive attitude to training.

Shauna Murphy is a certified and experienced yoga teacher who's constantly sought out a healing path. Her passion for the mind-body connection led her into a career based around holistic health.

Becoming an advocate of mental health after years of being a full-time yoga teacher, Shauna took a step back from teaching and dedicated herself to learning about healing and healthy spaces.

Shauna aims to create safe spaces where students can explore what their practice is capable of. While she is passionate about physically training your body. Shauna is equally as passionate about the need to train the mental and emotional parts of the body.

Candice is a professional pole athlete and acrobatics student, and has been teaching pole and flexibility for more than 8 years.

After starting her contortion journey with Shelly, she fell in love with incorporating core stability and split stretching into her training, as she saw a huge transformation in her skills both on and off the pole.

She is extremely passionate about flexibility training and looks forward to sharing her years of knowledge and experience with you.

Candice works hard to incorporate all aspects of stability and mobility into her classes so students can see progress quickly, efficiently, and safely.

Growing up in Johannesburg, South Africe, Tikara had always found herself fascinated with trying new sports and experimenting with different types of movement.

After a close friend introduced her to yoga, she was hooked. She soon started teaching yoga throughout the community and local gymnastics club.

A few years later, she began to explore contortion training and pushing her body to the limit, and now enjoys sharing this passion with her students.

Kielan grew up dancing semi-professionally for 15 years before changing career paths and her doctorate in Physics. She discovered yoga in 2013 and began training contortion with ShellyFLEX soon after.

She has now added to Barre to her skill set and enjoys how these different disciplines complement each other.

She is always bringing new and fresh ideas to her classes to keep herself and her students engaged and inspired.

Ryan Airey has been a personal trainer with ShellyFLEX Athletics for over 5 years, and he loves helping students build strength and develop their cardiovascular endurance in order to reach their fitness goals.

As a volunteer firefighter for over 25 years, Ryan has always valued the importance of physical fitness and nutrition, and he enjoys sharing his passion and knowledge with others.

Ever since he began dating Shelly, Ryan has adapted his conditioning routines to best fit the needs of students looking to strengthen their handstands, stabilize their core, and complement their flexibility training in order to prevent injury.

As a competitive athlete with horses for over 30 years, Ari began practicing yoga in 2005 to help oversomce injuries.

Over the years she has trained under countless yoga teachers, becoming certified herself in yoga as well as functional range conditioning.

With a huge love for handstands and backbends, Ari started training with ShellyFLEX in order to pursue the art of contortion and incorporates these newfound skills into her personal practice and teachings.

Vera Alvarez, is a Certifiex Experienced Yoga Teacher by Yoga Alliance E-RYT 200 in Hatha, Ashtanga, Vinyasa Flow and Rocket Yoga.

In 2013, Vera embarked on a life changing adventure moving from her busy life in Portugal/Europe to follow her husband to a tropical island in South India/Sri Lanka, leaving behind her career as a financial advisor to become a full time mom, and one year later, yoga teacher.

Learning the practice of yoga from its origin was a privilege that she felt the need to share.

She loves to lead fun and dynamic classes, not only out of her love for movement, but also for her devotion to the mental and spiritual benefits that the practice of yoga creates.

Ahmad Hijazi has been training calisthenics for about 2 years and Hand Balancing for about a year. His story with hand balancing started when he tried and achieved a headstand.

He felt how amazing it was to be upside down and do amzing things while forgetting about everything else that was going on in his life. From there it was a daily journey exploring the amazing world of Inversions.

Ahmad's classes will help you kick up into and hold that handstand while building a strong foundation and the body awareness necessary for transitioning into harder variations of inversions.

Being active and strong has always been an important part of Hayley's life. She has over 10 years' experience in weightlifting/bodybuilding and fell in love with pole dancing in 2019 wanting to try something new, find community, and get in touch with her feminine side. She is currently a private pole coach working with students one-on-one from her home to provide specialized training. Her favorite part of pole is putting together combinations of moves and smoothing out each transition down to the details to make it fluid and mesmerizing. - bonus points if there's a good song to go with it. She is also new to Yoga which she started practicing earlier this year. Still exploring various styles, but so far Yin is her favorite and she has seen a huge difference in her comfort level and abilities in various tricks on the pole since focusing more on flexibility work. She's excited to continue to grow in her craft and share her skills with her students through Flex-Ed!

Brenna began studying pole during her sophomore year in college when she took a free introductory class with a friend. She was hooked after that first class. She continued to consistently take classes and began teaching during graduate school and well afterward. Her experience with pole has led Brenna to do various competitions and performances as well as cross train with aerial silks, contortion, and cross fit. Before COVID she was teaching various levels of pole, aerial silks, and flexibility. During 2021, Brenna and her husband lived in Las Vegas where she had the opportunity to train pole and aerial with various Cirque du Soleil Performers past and current. Brenna is happy to be teaching again and can't wait to help everyone on their pole journey.

Aren is a New Zealand Circus Artist specializing in multiple different disciplines including Pole Straps Cyr Wheel and hand-balancing. He started circus when he was 14 and found immediate passion for it and haven't stopped since.

Donna Carnow (she/her) - is a Brooklyn-based pole dancer, aerial pole artist, choreographer, teacher, performer, and pole champion. Donna teaches pole dancing + flexibility training full time at Body & Pole in NYC and around the world via workshops, teaching residencies, and her own virtual platform. Donna’s technique-focused classes are creatively activated by her fiery energy, anatomical knowledge, passion for her students’ growth, and her belief in the magic of movement. Donna is a Master Trainer with the ElevatED Pole + Flexibility Training programs and has a power vinyasa yoga teaching background (E-RYT 200). Donna’s performative abilities have been celebrated in the New York Times, Variety, The New Yorker, Theatermania, and more. She is known for starring in the off-broadway show Seven Deadly Sins NYC in Bess Wohl’s play, LUST, voiced by Cynthia Nixon and was described as the “production’s true showstopper” (New York Times). She performs regularly in NYC circus and nightlife venues like The Slipper Room, DROM, House of Yes, 74Wythe, and shares her specialty art in productions produced by Cirque Central, Schtick A Pole In It, Caché Life, Let Them Eat Cake, and more. She also recently headlined Rochester Fringe Festival 2021 with circus company Cirque du Fringe. Donna holds the titles of PSO Northeast Pole Art Champion of 2021 (Boston), PSO Central Pole Champion of 2019 (Chicago), and has performed in PSO US Nationals, the Hard Rock Hotel (Vegas), International Pole Convention, Pole Theatre USA, and more. Donna hails from an experimental modern dance background. Originally from the Chicago-land area, Donna holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and graduated as a James Scholar with honors. She has been recognized and awarded for her experimental integration of post-modern choreographic techniques with pole and loves exploring how these forms collide and coexist in her artistic work.

Jessica is a stretch & strength enthusiast from Baltimore, Maryland. There she trains and performs contortion, aerials, fire & flow arts. In 2014, her movement journey started with YouTube yoga classes and hula hoop trick tutorials. A few years later Jessica expanded her training to aerial arts and fire performance. Flash forward to 2020, and suddenly there was time to dive into online flexibility training. What started as an obsession with getting a split and handstand quickly blossomed into an interest in all things contortion. “Being a student of the ShellyFlex program has brought so much improvement to everything I do. I can’t wait to step into a coach role and train with you!”

Lisa has been a student of FLEX-ED since 2021 and she's super excited to share her passion of pole dancing with the FLEX-ED. community. She has a background in physical education and loves all things fitness and adventure. She has been pole dancing for more than 5 years now and was hooked right away. She loves how pole has such a variety of styles, moves, and tricks that there is always a new challenge to get after next and it never feels boring.

Meet our team

Our Team of Experts

Shelly a former rhythmic gymnast turned professional circus acrobat, specializing in contortion, hand-balancing, and aerial skills.

She has had the opportunity to perform all over the United States in productions such as "Pippin the Musical" on Broadway and for the premiere of Cirque Du Soleil's Kurious. She has also performed internationally at special events in Hong Kong, Italy, Puerto Rico, and the Bahamas.

In addition to performing, Shelly has been teaching flexibility, hand-balancing, and contortion to students of all backgrounds and levels of experience for more than 15 years!

She is extremely passionate about sharing her knowledge and experience with flexibility, hand-balancing and contortion training and is excited to help you achieve your goals and perform skills you never thought possible.

Artur is recognized as one of the best hand-balancers in the world. Born and raised in Ukraine, he has performed all over the globe with Cirque De Demain and other cirque productions

He is very passionate about hand-balancing, and loves to invent moves and tricks that challenge gravity.

By incorporating his experience and knowledge as a professional hand-balancer, intermediate-advanced students will see great progress through his transformative classes.

Artur has a unique gift when it comes to coaching. He is able to identify small adjustments that have a significant impact on your handstand technique. He is extremely patient, understanding, encouraging and always brings a positive attitude to training.

Cara is a professional pole athlete competing all around the United States and a two times PSO National Competitor.

As a student inside the FLEX-ED program, Cara was mainly focused on improving her flexibility, but has grown to become an avid hand-balancer.

Back bends are still her favorite thing to practice, because she loves to create different shapes with her body.

She loves to share her passion for back flexibility with her students, and encourages them to be creative with their skills as well!

Candice is a professional pole athlete and acrobatics student, and has been teaching pole and flexibility for more than 8 years.

After starting her contortion journey with Shelly, she fell in love with incorporating core stability and split stretching into her training, as she saw a huge transformation in her skills both on and off the pole.

She is extremely passionate about flexibility training and looks forward to sharing her years of knowledge and experience with you.

Candice works hard to incorporate all aspects of stability and mobility into her classes so students can see progress quickly, efficiently, and safely.

Growing up in Johannesburg, South Africe, Tikara had always found herself fascinated with trying new sports and experimenting with different types of movement.

After a close friend introduced her to yoga, she was hooked. She soon started teaching yoga throughout the community and local gymnastics club.

A few years later, she began to explore contortion training and pushing her body to the limit, and now enjoys sharing this passion with her students.

Kielan grew up dancing semi-professionally for 15 years before changing career paths and her doctorate in Physics. She discovered yoga in 2013 and began training contortion with ShellyFLEX soon after.

She has now added to Barre to her skill set and enjoys how these different disciplines complement each other.

She is always bringing new and fresh ideas to her classes to keep herself and her students engaged and inspired.

Charis teaches based on her philosophy that movement does not discriminate, but instead it is accessible to everyone and is aa beautiful way to explore self expression.

She has been teaching movement flow and choreography to students of all ages and abilities for over 9 years, and she works to help mitigatie injuries and ehance performance.

As a competitive athlete with horses for over 30 years, Ari began practicing yoga in 2005 to help oversomce injuries.

Over the years she has trained under countless yoga teachers, becoming certified herself in yoga as well as functional range conditioning.

With a huge love for handstands and backbends, Ari started training with ShellyFLEX in order to pursue the art of contortion and incorporates these newfound skills into her personal practice and teachings.

Vera Alvarez, is a Certifiex Experienced Yoga Teacher by Yoga Alliance E-RYT 200 in Hatha, Ashtanga, Vinyasa Flow and Rocket Yoga.

In 2013, Vera embarked on a life changing adventure moving from her busy life in Portugal/Europe to follow her husband to a tropical island in South India/Sri Lanka, leaving behind her career as a financial advisor to become a full time mom, and one year later, yoga teacher.

Learning the practice of yoga from its origin was a privilege that she felt the need to share.

She loves to lead fun and dynamic classes, not only out of her love for movement, but also for her devotion to the mental and spiritual benefits that the practice of yoga creates.

Ryan Airey has been a personal trainer with ShellyFLEX Athletics for over 5 years, and he loves helping students build strength and develop their cardiovascular endurance in order to reach their fitness goals.

As a volunteer firefighter for over 25 years, Ryan has always valued the importance of physical fitness and nutrition, and he enjoys sharing his passion and knowledge with others.

Ever since he began dating Shelly, Ryan has adapted his conditioning routines to best fit the needs of students looking to strengthen their handstands, stabilize their core, and complement their flexibility training in order to prevent injury.

Shauna Murphy is a certified and experienced yoga teacher who's constantly sought out a healing path. Her passion for the mind-body connection led her into a career based around holistic health.

Becoming an advocate of mental health after years of being a full-time yoga teacher, Shauna took a step back from teaching and dedicated herself to learning about healing and healthy spaces.

Shauna aims to create safe spaces where students can explore what their practice is capable of. While she is passionate about physically training your body. Shauna is equally as passionate about the need to train the mental and emotional parts of the body.

Born in Santiago, Chile, Agustin developed an interest for circus arts at the age of 12. He began training contortion in a self-taught manner until he began training seriously with a former Cirque du Soleil performer. He participated in several Chilean TV shows as a contortionist.

Later he began his dance training at a local dance school Mo-Mo, eventually moving to New York City in 2015 to further his ballet training at Ballet Academy East, also part taking in summer intensives by the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, American Ballet Theatre, and Orlando Ballet.

He then returns to Chile in 2017 to dance at the National Opera of Chile for three years. From the beginning of the pandemic to the present has trained under the Alixa Flexibility method in strength and flexibility, reaching a professional contortionist level.

Ahmad Hijazi has been training calisthenics for about 2 years and Hand Balancing for about a year. His story with hand balancing started when he tried and achieved a headstand.

He felt how amazing it was to be upside down and do amzing things while forgetting about everything else that was going on in his life. From there it was a daily journey exploring the amazing world of Inversions.

Ahmad's classes will help you kick up into and hold that handstand while building a strong foundation and the body awareness necessary for transitioning into harder variations of inversions.

Meet our team

Our Team of Experts

Students are Experiencing INSANE Results.

You could be next!

Ready to join FLEX-ED?

Talk to a Shelly-FLEX Team Member.