Page 12 - South Mississippi Living - January, 2022
P. 12

story by Luke Height photos courtesy of the New Orleans Saints and by Arielle Victoria
       Peyton Stubbs. Alexis Krohn Moran.
 Some people dance to the beat of their own drum, but here in Biloxi, the very best dance to the beat of Kelli’s Steps School of Dance. Kelli Dickens, owner and instructor of the international award-winning performance team Kelli’s Showstoppers and president
of Dance Educators of America, has added another accomplishment to her list of accolades. This year, four of her dancers – Joley Hughes, Jordyn Eaton, Alexis Krohn Moran and Peyton Stubbs – are joining the Saintsations team,
a cheerleading and dance squad that performs at New Orleans Saints football games.
Their accomplishment did not happen overnight. In fact, these girls have all been trained by Dickens for at least 12 years, and the results show. Dickens has an extensive knowledge of the process for becoming a Sainstation. She says, “I am committed to being with them every step of the way. It's important that they are not only technically prepared on the dance field, but are properly dressed to impress and remain physically fit with a healthy, positive outlook.”
With this type of care, focus, and professionalism, Dickens' dancers are set up for success. One Saintsations dance coach complimented her by saying,
“Please continue sending me quality dancers. I admire the classy style and work ethic that you instill in every one of your dancers that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.”
It’s not just the Saintsations coaches who rave about the outstanding results coming out of Kelli’s Steps. A few of the Saintsations girls themselves gave her sensational reviews:
"My experience at Kelli's Steps taught me to work hard and stay dedicated to earn your spot,” said Hughes. “Having Ms. Kelli as my teacher instilled in me to make every performance count because nothing is guaranteed. I am where I am today because of that!”
Says Eaton, "Being a student of Ms. Kelli's was not just an opportunity to learn about dance, but life lessons and skills that are transferable beyond the dance studio. I believe that is what has made me into the person and performer I am today and why I have reached the success that I have.”
“While proper technique was an important factor in our studio, Ms. Kelli always emphasized the importance of performance,” says Stubbs. “She teaches her students to give every moment on stage their all and make even the furthest person in the audience stop and watch us.
In order to perform on a venue as large as an NFL football field, you have to be able to perform just like that.”
Krohn Moran adds, "Ms. Kelli prepared me to cheer in the NFL by becoming
a technically trained dancer. She also taught me to believe in myself, keep my chin up, smile big and to never forget my red lipstick."
Dickens is very proud of her girls and their success. She says, “Once a Kelli girl always a Kelli girl.” Congratulations to these four Saintsations!
12 | January 2022 | SOUTH MISSISSIPPI Living
Joley Hughes.
Jordyn Eaton.
 Kelli Dickens.

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