Video Connects Us To One Another’s Stories

by | Nov 30, 2017 | Dance Documentary, Dance Film, Fundraising Video, Performance Video, Promotional Video | 0 comments

I must tell you in my now 16 years of business (I know I am shocked too!!) one of my favorite things is to connect with all the people I know, through these letters. Connection in general continues to be at the core of who I am and I truly think it is at the core of everyone.

When we feel connected, all is well in the world.

Connection happens in so many ways, and this year, specifically, I have been discovering what that means in my world and how I can make a difference. I finally figured it out!

I was wondering if making videos really changes lives and does good in the world, and I discovered that video connects people to stories, which connects them to each other. This year I have committed to telling even more stories and to find a story in all that I do. Each story is unique and I want to treat them that way.

I continue to hold strong to the reason I began filming dance in the first place, making sure as much dance as possible is documented and preserved for years to come. Sometimes I am tempted to just focus on making dance films. Something always brings me back to documenting dance in the theater.

Performance only happens once, even if it is a long run, and filming it is the only way we have a chance to witness that moment again. This is the beauty of video. This is why NSP continues to film live performance for presenters and companies and individual artists.

I wanted to share a few things that have been happening at Nel Shelby Productions.

In June, I went to the Dance/USA conference with Margaret Mullin, my Co-Director for my current film No Dominion: The Ian Horvath Story. We completed editing two of Ian’s dances that were reconstructed and filmed, and we showed them in a theater at the conference along with interview footage of Ian and others. We had a beautiful turnout that included former Ian Horvath dancers.

The discussion was so lively I wish that it was filmed. (I know. Can you believe it? Even I don’t film everything!!)

We’re creating this film in phases. Margaret is continuing to raise money for the film as we move into future filming & editing, and we hope to have the film completed in Fall 2018.

A big project of ours continues to be filming and editing videos for Dance Education Laboratory (DEL). Jody Arnhold, founder of DEL and Executive Producer of PS DANCE!, is committed to documenting the incredible teachers that lead these workshops. Their archive is rich and full of life. We are now saving all of it on Vimeo and creating a treasure trove of dance education material.

As you know I am deeply committed to dance education. PS DANCE!, our film about dance education in public schools in NYC, continues to be shown on television and at festivals. Documentary #2 may be coming soon (shhhh).

NSP continues to expand and work to deliver faster and more quality video to all of our amazing clients.

We are busily working to be of service in a bigger way to the dance community. And I am beyond thrilled that I have recently hired Heidi Gunter as my Operations and Business Development Manager. Heidi and I have known each other for over 16 years, and Heidi actually hired me to film ABT’s Studio Company in 2006 when she was company manager! She became Director of the JKO School and continued to be an NSP client for years. I am so pleased to have Heidi join us.

I continue to be extremely grateful for my NSP team, my family and all my colleagues and friends. The support, referrals, advice and trust you give to us is beyond anything I could have ever imagined. 16 years ago, I could not have believed that we could have filmed, served and guided over hundreds of dance companies, festivals and dancers. It has pushed me to grow as a person in so many ways.

I am also truly grateful and proud of all the women I have brought into this industry. Believe it or not, people are still shocked I walk in the door with a camera. I am proud to be that woman and proud to support other women to do the same.

Please, let’s stay connected – I want to hear what you are up to!!!
Write me at

Here is to a year of connection, creativity and service!

With so much gratitude and love,

Nel Shelby

Nel Shelby is Owner & Filmmaker for Nel Shelby Productions, her New York City-based company dedicated to dance videography and editing. Nel shares her mission to preserve and promote the art of dance with her husband, Christopher Duggan, a dance and wedding photographer. They collaborate on projects with dance companies of worldwide renown, up-and-coming choreographers, dance educators, dance schools and more. Nel is Video Producer at Jacob’s Pillow and Vail Dance Festival and is also the proud Director and Producer of PS DANCE! — a New York Emmy-nominated documentary about dance education in NYC’s public schools.