Page 58 - South Mississippi Living - January, 2022
P. 58

 “Once a
Kelli Girl, always a ” Kelli Girl!
Face of Kelli’s Steps School of Dance
Forty-two years and over 5,000 students. That is how long Kelli Dickens has been teaching dance and how many children she has impacted.
Not only is Dickens the owner, instructor, and director of the international award-winning Kelli’s Steps School of Dance, but she is also President of Dance Educators of America.
Biloxi is her hometown, and she feels that nobody can appreciate the craft more than the family and friends she has here. Dickens is proud to say that her mother, Mellonee, is the creator of her Kelli’s Steps logo, as well as her costume designer. Her son, Trent, teaches hip-hop at her studio, sharing what he learned in the music industry. “Besides,” she remarks, “the Coast needs a little piece of Broadway starring their children!”
Dance is more than just a career for Dickens, who has become
a role model and second mom to many. “The fact that I have the opportunity to help instill self-confidence in a child all while teaching them a love of dance and performance makes my career fulfilling.”
With students who have gone onto Broadway, film, and professional dancers and cheerleaders, it’s obvious this studio is doing something right.
Dickens feels that her purpose is to continue the tradition of
dance on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. “My journey with my students doesn’t end with their final bow on stage, it continues with them into adulthood,” she says. “I have been blessed to attend college events, weddings, and even help some of them open up studios of their own. My dancing doors are always open – may the tradition continue.”
952CedarLakeRd.,Biloxi | 228.388.1616 | FacebookandInstagram@KellisStepsBiloxi
58 | January 2022 | SOUTH MISSISSIPPI Living

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