About Nel Shelby

I founded my dance video production company when I realized that all of my college dance footage was fuzzy, far away and completely unusable. There was clearly a need for better quality dance video, and since I had broadcast experience in addition to dance training — it felt like the perfect passion project.

Now, Nel Shelby Productions has grown from a one-woman show to a thriving operation with an excellent team of creative videographers, editors, marketing minds, client relations and project managers. We are still deeply dedicated to the preservation of dance through documentation of live performances, but we also focus on digital marketing and promotion with fully edited marketing reels, documentaries and dance films. My film PS DANCE! about dance education in NYC public schools was nominated for a New York Emmy!

I get to collaborate often with my husband, dance photographer Christopher Duggan, which is so much fun.

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With my husband, dance photographer Christopher Duggan, and our two kids, Gracie & Jack at our summer home in the Berkshires; photo by Lovebird Studios

We know (and love) pretty much everyone in the dance world.

We have a huge and diverse list of dance clients including American Ballet Theater II, Ballet Hispanico, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, Gallim Dance, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Kate Weare Company, Keigwin + Company, Monica Bill Barnes Company, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Shen Wei Dance Arts, Wendy Whelan and many more. I’ve filmed performances at The Joyce Theater, New York Live Arts, Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, St. Mark’s Church, Judson Church…the list goes on.

And we film & photograph anywhere dance can be.

I also work as Video Producer for the internationally celebrated Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in the Berkshires and at the Vail Dance Festival in Colorado. My half-hour documentary on Vail’s festival, The Altitude of Dance, debuted on Rocky Mountain PBS in May 2013.

I love making longer dance films, too.

I’ve created four short films for Wendy Whelan’s Restless Creature project, and “Folie a Deux,” my short dance film made in collaboration with Adam Barruch Dance, was selected and screened at the Dance on Camera Festival in New York City and the San Francisco Dance Film Festival. My dance documentary Where Women Don’t Dance, featuring Nejla Y. Yatkin and filmed during a month-long tour in Central America has had preview screenings in Chicago at Links Hall and at Jacob’s Pillow. PS DANCE! premiered at Hunter College, screened on THIRTEEN/WNET and on public television channels across the nation, received a New York Emmy nomination, and had a featured screening at Dance on Camera Festival in February 2016.

What really drives me behind the camera is my long personal history with movement — I have a B.F.A. in dance and I’m a certified Pilates instructor. It’s important to understand how dance feels when you film it, and that’s something I carry with me to each film shoot.

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Working with Nel Shelby on promotional videos for Restless Creature was a joyful and inspiring collaboration unto itself.

Wendy Whelan, Former Principal, New York City Ballet

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