Nel Shelby is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of dance through excellent documentation of live performances, high-quality production of livestreams and virtual programming, the creation of smart and engaging marketing videos, and the making of original documentaries and films covering a variety of topics in the field.
Her New York City-based video production company, Nel Shelby Productions, has grown to encompass a diverse list of dance clients. The entire team has training in movement, so they understand dance from both sides of the lens.
Nel produced and directed New York Emmy-nominated PS DANCE!, an hour-long documentary about dance education in NYC’s public schools, created with Jody Gottfried Arnhold and Joan Finkelstein and narrated by veteran television journalist Paula Zahn. PS DANCE! Had its premiere broadcast on THIRTEEN/WNET in May 2015 and has since aired on public television networks across the country. PS DANCE! Has also screened at a variety of educational and cultural panels for Dance/NYC, Teachers College at Columbia University, University of Maryland, National Dance Organization, Rutgers University, New York Historical Society, Dance on Camera at Lincoln center and more.
Nel’s half-hour dance documentary Where Women Don’t Dance featuring Nejla Y. Yatkin has had screenings at Links Hall in Chicago, Reston Center Stage in Virginia, Dance Place in Washington, D.C., Yonkers Film Festival and Jacob’s Pillow Dance. Nel has also created four short films for Wendy Whelan’s Restless Creature, and she collaborated with Adam Barruch Dance on a short film titled Folie à Deux, which was selected and screened at New York City’s Dance on Camera Festival and San Francisco Dance Film Festival.
Since 2004, Nel has served as Video Producer for the internationally celebrated Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in the Berkshires. Each season at the Pillow, Nel’s responsibilities include documenting aspects of festival culture in addition to its 20 mainstage dance performances, filming and overseeing documentation of more than 100 free performances and events, managing two dance videography interns and an apprentice, and educating students about the technical and philosophical aspects of filming dance.
Nel also serves as Video Producer at Vail Dance Festival where she creates short dance documentary films and marketing videos about the festival in addition to documenting performances. Her longer-form, half-hour documentary on Vail’s festival, The Altitude of Dance, debuted on Rocky Mountain PBS in May 2013.
Nel is currently co-directing No Dominion: The Ian Horvath Story with former Pacific Northwest Ballet dancer Margaret Mullin.
Nel has a long personal history with movement. She has a BFA in dance and is a certified Pilates instructor. In addition to her dance degree, Nel holds a B.S. in broadcast video. She lives in New York City with her husband, dance photographer Christopher Duggan, and their two children.