About Shamel

When an artist is genuinely at work in his craft, he's more fully calling on those connections to the universal. - Sidney Poitier

Shamel Pitts is a performance Shamel is a performance artist, choreographer, conceptual artist, dancer, spoken word artist, and teacher.

He is the recipient of a 2018 Princess Grace Award in Choreography.

Born in Brooklyn New York, Shamel began his dance training at LaGuardia High School for Music & Art and the Performing Arts and, simultaneously, at The Ailey School. Shamel received his BFA in Dance from The Juilliard School and was awarded the Martha Hill Award for excellence in dance.

He then went on to dance in Mikhail Baryshnikov’s Hell’s Kitchen Dance and BJM_Danse Montreal. Shamel danced with Batsheva Dance Company for 7 years, under the artistic direction of Ohad Naharin and is a certified teacher of Gaga movement language.

Shamel has created a triptych of multidiscplinary performance art works entitled:
BLACK BOX: Little Black Book Of RED​ (featured in ​The New York Times​), ​BLACK VELVET: Architectures And Archetypes​ (which received the Audience Choice Award At Stockholm Fringe Festival) and BLACK HOLE: Trilogy And Triathlon​ which received the CROSS Award Residency IV Edition in Italy.

Shamel has been an adjunct faculty member at The Juilliard School and has been an artist in residence at Harvard University.
Shamel is a 2019 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship Award Winner in Choreography.


Whether onstage or on the streets of Tel Aviv, Shamel Pitts commands attention. When performing with the Batsheva Dance Company, Israel’s premier contemporary dance troupe, he projects magnetic focus and pounces with ferocious abandon.

Brian Schaefer, The New York Times