Shannon McColl grew up in Old Bridge, New Jersey where she studied dance under the direction of Gina Forcella. She trained extensively in ballet, modern, contemporary, jazz and tap. She continued her training with Nancy Turano of the New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble, and attended summer programs at Boston Ballet School and the Youth American Dance Intensive. Throughout this time, McColl was a part time instructor for ballet and jazz technique. She also began choreographing and exploring her own movement, which she continued upon acceptance to The Boston Conservatory BFA program.
McColl has performed works by Andrea Miller, Twyla Tharp, Thang Dao, Katarzyna Skarpetowska, Parren Ballard, Jose Limon, Paul Taylor, Larry Keigwin, Daniel Pelzig, Stephen Pier, Al Blackstone, and Robert Moses, for whom she served as rehearsal director and coordinator. Her senior project at the Conservatory involved creation and performance of a solo dance for film entitled Russian Dance, in collaboration with Boston-based photographer Michael Seamans. McColl presented two works on The Boston Conservatory mainstage, In a Glass Box and Synalgia.
Most recently, McColl taught at Summer Stages in Concord Academy, and worked closely with Richard Colton both at Boston Ballet and The Boston Conservatory.