Kelsi Willow Nielsen is a supporting character in the High School Musical movies. She is a pianist at East High.

Basic Details

Kelsi Nielson is considered, by some, to be a minor character in the High School Musical series. However, her role in the movies has been an important factor in moving many parts of the plot forward. Kelsi composed the musical Twinkle Towne in her junior year at East High School. This musical included several wonderful songs, but the ones that appeared in the film were What I've Been Looking For and Breaking Free.

She also wrote the song You Are the Music in Me for Troy and Gabriella (though one may wonder if she hadn't possibly been thinking of someone else at the time).

She got a summer job at Lava Springs Country Club, which Sharpay's family owned. After the same blond she-devil, Sharpay Evans, stole You Are the Music in Me (which she made Kelsi "transpose"), Kelsi decided to get her payback and wrote Everyday. She is best friends with Taylor McKessie, Gabriella Montez, and Martha Cox. Her love interest in the first two films was Jason Cross, but changes to Ryan Evans for the final third installment.

She was accepted to the Julliard School for its scholarship along with Ryan because of her music in the Senior Year Spring Musical.

Ship Wars

Unlike the main female characters, Kelsi's love-life is mostly ambiguous, and almost entirely implied. As Kelsi did not have an established love interest in the first movie (her relationship with Jason was implied during the finale, but not before), several ships have struggled for dominance in fanfiction, fanvids, and other media.

Ryelsi/Relsi (Ryan and Kelsi)

Hsm3 RYELSI square

Ryan and Kelsi

Relsi/Ryelsi is the official pairing of High School Musical 3: Senior Year.

Ryelsi HATCANON pink

Ryan and Kelsi - note the hats.

In the first movie, Ryan shows indifference to Kelsi, but they sit at the same table in the cafeteria (as shown just before Stick to the Status Quo), and Kelsi and Ryan share a look while Sharpay oversees the cafeteria, causing some fans to already see a future couple in them.

In High School Musical 2, however, Kelsi is shown to have a locker next to Ryan's, and they presumably spent a lot of time together planning how to get Troy and Gabriella back together. In addition, Ryan and Kelsi actually speak to each other during the movies, and it is implied that Ryan supported Kelsi's ideas for the talent show before agreeing to direct the Wildcats ("Oh, hey. Kelsi's got some great new ideas to spice up the talent show..."). They are also the only characters to wear hats regularly, and their hats often match.

Ryelsi is the pairing in High School Musical 3, as Kelsi is Ryan's prom date. They sing a duet together (along with Troy and Gabriella) called Just Want To Be With You, after Ryan is ordered by Sharpay to take Kelsi to prom in order to steal "Just Want To Be With You". Some fans have interpreted this change in pairings to ease parent's fears over a gay character in the series, pointing out that Ryan did not have a girlfriend until the very end of High School Musical 2.

Jelsi (Jason and Kelsi)


Jason and Kelsi

Jelsi is the official pairing of the first two movies. It has the most evidence in its favor, at least for the first two movies.

During the end of High School Musical, Kelsi receives a basketball from Troy. Jason walks up to her, takes her hat off and tosses it off-camera, and helps her shoot a basket. Jason is also pictured with Kelsi at the end of High School Musical 2, when the characters are coupled and holding lanterns (Troy with Gabriella, Taylor with Chad, and so on). However, Kelsi and Jason almost never speak to each other directly.

Jacksi/Jelsi (Jack and Kelsi)

In the stage version of High School Musical 2, love is in the air between Jack Scott and Kelsi. This is seen throughout the story with cheesy pickup lines by Jack such as "red hot composer babe".


  • In a minor stage version of the production, the role of Kelsi was portrayed by Amy W. and Keeley A. 


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