Born in 1953 in a family of musicians and music teachers, Shaila was trained in tabla and vocal by her parents Manohar & Leela Sardesai. During the early years, she was lucky to receive the 'talim' (training) from veteran singer Pandit Vasantrao Deshpande. She was also trained in the light music tradition of Maharashtra.
She married Pandit Sudhir Datar, the grandson of legendary maestro Pandit Bhaskarbuva Bakhale. She received her early training in classical music from her husband who is a disciple of Pandit Ram Marathe. Later, on a government scholarship Shaila was trained extensively by the great exponent of the Kirana Agra Gayaki Pandita Manik Varma. Further she also received rigorous talim from Pandit Gajananbua Joshi.
She continued her quest for understanding the nature and tradition of Pandit Bhaskarbuva Bakhale’s Gayaki – the Khayal, Thumri, natyasangeet and other forms of music. In this quest she received blessings and guidance from stalwarts like Pandit Ram Marathe, Swararaj Chota Gandharva and Pandit Mallikarjun Mansur.
Apart from concert singing, Shaila contributes greatly to dissemination and research on music. Her deeply researched biography of Pandit Bhaskarbuva Bakhale - Devgandharva is a significant contribution to the research in music and theatre in Maharashtra . She also published a compilation of Pandit Bhaskarbuva Bakhale’s Bandishies – Madhusanchayan ( edited along with Sudhir Datar ).
She has received several State Government and Literary awards for her books.
As a trustee of Devgandharva Bakhalebuva Trust and President of Pune Bharat Gayan Samaj
(established in 1911 by Pandit Bhaskarbuva Bakhale ) Shaila is deeply involved
in organizing music concerts of stalwarts, encouraging young artists and teaching music. Apart from this Shaila has contributed greatly to the culture of Maharashtra by producing Radio programmes and Documentary films on artists like Master krishnarao, Master Dinanath Mangeshkar.
As a tribute to her Guru she also performed full concerts specially designed to incorporate her Guru’s Gayaki. Recently she gave a five day concert – each day dedicated to a particular form of music from Classical to Bhavgeet. Shaila lives and teaches music in Pune.