Kelci Francis wins World Street Dance Championship

Kelci Francis a proud winner at the Sports Awards


Kelci won a World Street Dance Championship – and last year picked up the coveted ‘Best Junior’ honour in the Sport Pembrokeshire Awards.
For a 16 year old street dancer called Kelci Francis from Pennar, Pembroke Dock, the world is quite literally at her feet because her superb skill levels in her chosen sport, allied to a great deal of hard work and determination to do well, has seen her develop into a young lady who has overcome the challenges of the pandemic to achieve a coveted world title at the UDO Worlds competition for street dancers aged 16 and under at Advanced Level.
Small wonder then that as a result of becoming a world champion, Kelci was last year nominated for the Sport Pembrokeshire Awards in the ‘Under 16 Sporting Achievement’ category and was rightly delighted to fend off the challenge of some other very talented young sports people to receive the award, which was presented by Georgia Osborne-Davies, who works at Ysgol Harri Tudur.
Equally pleased were her parents Kelly and Colin Francis, and younger brother Codey, who have provided her with total support and encouragement alongside several others who recognised her immense achievement and so nominated her for the award.

Early start to dancing and to competition

Kelci has been dancing from the age of seven, with the Kelly Williams School of Dance, starting out as a shy young girl with a huge talent, that over the years has grown and grown into something outstanding and at that age Kelci joined the Pembrokeshire-based street dance school 'Just For Fun', where she attended a one-hour weekly class where she made new friends and enjoyed learning new skills.

One year into Kelci’s dancing, her coach, Kelly Williams, put her forward to be a part of a new competition team called 'Lil Hustlerz', who trained a couple of hours per week working on team dances, solo dances and duo dancers, and it was here that Kelci’s competition journey began.

K-Crew and Khaos help build self-confidence

Moving forward a couple of years, there was an opportunity for an elite team of dancers to be put together to compete. Kelci was chosen for this group and they competed all over the UK at national levels under the name ‘K-crew’, which became well known and were very successful at competitions. Kelci, although still very shy had an unmissable talent, just needed that extra push to build her confidence.

As K-crew grew older they moved onto a new team, and they now compete under the name ‘Khaos’. Again a very successful team, however it is since Kelci has grown older that the confidence and self-belief has grown.

Coaching youngsters as she aims to become a dance teacher

Kelci wins another top trophyNow at the age of 16 Kelci is training to be a dance teacher as she assists her coach in every class at the dance school, five days a week – and in doing so she creates innovative and exciting choreography and delivers classes to the younger dancers at the school.
Kelci is a pupil at Ysgol Harri Tudur and her efforts have been recognised by her being appointed as a Sports Ambassador, where she also helps and takes part in helping young dancers in a programme that UDOIT runs at her school. She absolutely loves helping anyone who would like to dance and now when she returns in September for the 6th form, she aims to continue to help with the programme.
The change in her now from that shy young girl who first walked through the doors is unbelievable and as her coach couldn't be more proud of the journey she has been on. Kelci is dedicated, hard-working and so very determined to do well and be the best she can possibly be.

Raising the competitive bar – and not letting the coronavirus beat her

Kelci has performed all over the UK as a soloist and with her team and they have also competed at UDO Street Dance events in Glasgow and Blackpool. The Kelly Williams School of Dance was nominated for best dance school of 2019, which took them to Essex, to perform in front of a crowd of over 1,000 people, and also performing locally within Pembrokeshire.

Lockdown was a very difficult time for everyone but it allowed Kelci the time to really work hard on her own. She worked with choreographers from all over the globe through online zoom classes and workshops and gained a huge amount of knowledge for other styles of dance through this.

Regular competitions held on-line

Thankfully competition organisations held regular online competitions through zoom.

This meant the dancers would all be on screen with the judges, who would select dancers to go through to the next rounds where they would dance again and again until they were eliminated or reached the final for a placement.

Kelci did unbelievably well with the online competitions, either winning or placing in the top three for every single competition.

She has achieved such a huge amount over the past year and there is still so much more to come from her.

Dreams come true with the winning of a world title

A colourful background for street danceAt 15 Kelci made her own dreams come true as she won a world championship title at under 16 advanced world champion soloist; a win that was all the more amazing because she was competing against the best street dancers from 35 countries all around the world.
It meant that she had to devise an impromptu dance to the same music as perhaps 12 others in a pool before the top three moved into the next round – and she had to come through four such rounds before the final, which was shown on Face Book.
Her dance floor was the family lounge with the furniture moved back and after a nerve-jangling wait she received the much-hoped for judges’ verdict – and she had indeed become champion of the world!
It is hard to put into mere words what the news meant to the whole family – enough to say that Kelci was a delighted young lady!

Competitions galore up to 2020 . . .

It completed a terrific journey to such success and she has been kept very busy, especially in the last few weeks, entering other zoom competitions with more great success.
It is worth noting her progress, from her first success as far back as 2015, which has led to three Welsh Championship titles with the United Dance Organisation plus a range of other trophies as she moved through the Beginners, Novices, Intermediate and Advanced sections:

These start in Newport in, November 2015, when Kelci was a United Dance Organisation Street Dance Welsh Champion through to the same venue in 2018 when she won the title again.

Kelci (back) with mentor Kelly Williams. . . And 2020 . . .

It was back  to the UDO Street Dance Welsh Championships in 2019 when she was successful in Merthyr Tydfil and a year later she became top soloist in 2020 UK Street Dance Challenge under 16 (Intermediate/Advanced category).

There was a lot more success that year as she was second soloist in the Soar competition 16 and under (Intermediate/Advanced), won the Welsh Dance Organisation competition 15 & under (Advanced Soloist),  and was placed in the Belle Fisher ‘All Styles Battle’ competition 16 & under: the UDO competition 16 & under (Advanced):  the Soar competition 16 & under (Advanced): 4th place soloist; the UDOIT competition 18 & under (Experienced): 3rd place soloist before coming first in the WDO  Little and Large competition:

. . . And just as busy in 2021!

There were other competitions late in 2020 where she continued to advance her growing reputation – and 2021 has brought a whole range of successes in competitions like The ‘Soar’ Competition and  the ‘New Hope Dance Challenge’ as first-placed soloist in the 16 and under advanced category - and since turning 16 in February she now competes in categories 16 & over or Under 18’s.

In March she won the’ Street House Championships - as a soloist in the over 16 Advanced category and in the ‘Little and Large’ category with Lexi Dooner.

Then she finished March in style by competing well in the Street Dance International  Ireland Championships and moved up an age group when she came third in the ‘United Dance Organisation Easter Bash’, as a soloist in the  Under 18 Advanced category.

Another win for a delighted KelciBack outdoors and face to face training

In April, Kelci finally returned to face to face dance training outdoors with everyone at the Kelly Williams School of  Dancing and really enjoyed returning to her roots after a busy spell of competition – but in May it was back to competing for the United Dance Organisation European Competition (including all the European countries) – and was understandably delighted with third place in the Under 18 Advanced category against older rivals.

Her very supportive family are all so proud of her as she hasn’t let the Covid situation get her down even though it was very difficult not being able to train or work with others, but then zoom did come in very handy,  almost like a life line.
2021 has brought a whole range of successes in competitions like The ‘Soar’ Competition and  the ‘New Hope Dance Challenge’ as first-placed soloist in the 16 and under advanced category - and since turning 16 in February she now competes in categories 16 & over or Under 18’s.
Kelci is now teaching her own street dance competition team at Kelly Williams School of Dance, ready for competitions. She has named her team K.D.C (Kelci’s Dance Crew).
Kelci also teaches at the Kelly Williams’ School of Dance ‘Lyrical’ style. (Every Thursday, evening and they are open to all!)


Kelci shows real attitude in a new routineKelly Williams’ thoughts on Kelci:

“Watching Kelci grow over the past decade has been truly honourable because she is the most hard-working, passionate and determined young lady I have ever had the pleasure of coaching – and the shy little girl that first walked through my doors has now, at 15 years of age, through pure hard work achieved her ultimate dream of a world championship title.
“It has been an absolute pleasure to be a part of Kelci’s ever-growing journey and to watch her shine through her success – and I am beyond proud of Kelci; how far she has come and what she has achieved so far.
“However, I must say this is just the beginning for this very talented young girl because she is training to become a street dance coach, working alongside me every day.
“She is an inspiration and I am very excited about her extremely bright future.
“Keep up the hard work, Kelci, you deserve all the success in the world so congratulations on your amazing success!”
We could pay Kelci Francis no greater compliment than those lovely sentiments written by her top coach Kelly and all it remains for us to say is,

 “Congratulations from on your amazing successes – and good luck for your future dance career!”