About Nel Shelby

I founded my dance video production company when I realized that all 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 a mission more than a business.

Nel Shelby Productions has grown from a one-woman show to a thriving operation with an excellent creative team handling videography, editing, photography, marketing, client relations and project management.

Our passion for dance still guides our work every day.

I believe every child deserves access to dance education.

When I started working with Executive Producer Jody Gottfried Arnhold to film PS DANCE!, a documentary on dance education in NYC public schools, it all started to click for me.

Movement has always filled my soul. I see the power it gives our daughter Gracie and son Jack. I know it teaches compassion and responsibility and more.

And making documentaries like PS DANCE! is my way to shine light on this.

PS DANCE! filled my heart with the hope that ALL kids can experience the gift of dance so beautifully shown in this wonderful film.”


— Damian Woetzel, Artistic Director of Vail International Dance Festival

I realize the urgency of preserving live performance.

Documenting live performance will never capture the experience of the real thing. I get that. But that doesn’t make it any less important. To film live performance is to present an artist’s intention as completely as possible. To respect and revere what they’ve created and preserve the dance for future generations.

Dedicating our team’s time to filming dance with multiple cameras and delivering high-quality video means artists can share their work with more presenters, wider audiences and funders, too.

As our landscape has changed due to COVID-19, here at NSP we are feeling the urgency of our clients having an online presence. Producing virtual events and festivals is now a part of what we do. I began my career as a broadcast major and now I am utilizing those skills to create online shows. This includes a convocation to a gala to a virtual conference or festival.

Named 30 over 30 in Dance Magazine

“A sturdy braid of dance, filmmaking and entrepreneurship runs through the center of Nel Shelby’s story, from training in ballet, jazz and tap during her Colorado childhood, to studying broadcast media at Stephens College in Missouri, to her arrival at Jacob’s Pillow as a videography intern. Nel Shelby Productions opened for business in 2004; four years later, she stopped teaching Pilates part-time to focus on her company and two kids.

Today Shelby manages 40-some concurrent projects, with help from up to a dozen employees and contractors. The pandemic-inspired shifts to virtual led to greater demand than ever before. Fall for Dance, Jacob’s Pillow and Vail Dance Festival are just three of her company’s nearly 100 clients.”

I believe in the power of storytelling through video.

Sometimes I feel like the internet caught up with my line of thinking all along – video is a unique and powerful tool to share your story as an artist. Right now, when live performance isn’t possible, video is all the more crucial. Promoting your work through storytelling is possible in so many ways on video. From the abstract to on-camera interviews.

My broadcast experience allows me to draw authentic commentary out of you when you’re in front of the camera. This is key in my documentary film work, but comes in handy in promos and behind-the-scenes videos, too! I am creating Television here and that is how I began my career.

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


— WENDY WHELAN, associate artistic director, New York City Ballet

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

When you work for over a decade in the NYC, Jacob’s Pillow and Vail Dance scenes, you’ll meet pretty much everyone in the dance world.

Check out the list of our clients, or browse our videos to get a sense of the diversity of styles of choreography we have filmed!

clients >

services >

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. I’m obsessed with Peloton, and I still practice headstands in my living room. It’s important to understand how dance feels when you film it, and that’s something I carry with me to each film shoot.