The Way You Move

Woman Paralyzed After Accident Finds Unique Way To Channel Her Passion For Dance

"I had no idea that this would ever come from it.”

Chelsie Hill had been an avid dancer since she was a toddler, but when a devastating car accident during her senior year of high school paralyzed her from the bellybutton down, she had to find a new way to channel her passion.

Now 25, Hill recalls waking up in the hospital two weeks after the accident and learning she would never be able to walk, let alone dance, again. "At 17, I had no idea that this was even possible — that you could walk one day and the next day wake up and not be able to feel your legs," the California native tells People.

After the former varsity dancer relearned how to sit in a chair, dress herself, and bathe, she knew she needed to figure out how to once again make dance a part of her life. At the suggestion of her father, Hill founded the Walk and Roll Foundation — a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising funds for people with spinal cord injuries so they can have access to wheelchairs — but something was still missing.

Separate from the foundation, Hill started the Rollettes — a team of six women who love to dance and just so happen to be in wheelchairs. What began as a way to incorporate dance back into her life has now grown into something much larger and more impactful than Hill could've ever imagined. 

"I had no idea that this would ever come from it," Hill explains. "I do dance intensives every six months for people all over the United States and the last two times, we had 18 dancers come in. It's just been really cool. I get to meet girls that are my age that have never hung out with another girl in a chair."

And the women do more than dance. They also look to one another for tips and advice. "We're able to ask each other things like, 'How do you wear heels?' 'How do you get dressed in your chair?' 'How do you have sex?' —  girl things you don't ask your parents and you don't ask your friends that are able [bodied] because they have no idea," says Hill.

In addition to her time as a Rollette, Hill is now fulfilling another dream by becoming a Wings For Life ambassador. The foundation aims to fund "life-changing spinal cord research," and holds events all over the world.

Rock on, Chelsie!

(H/T: People)

The Way You Move celebrates dancing and choreography videos that showcase fancy footwork in genres as diverse as ballet, hip-hop, tap, ballroom, and more. Learn a new routine the first Thursday of each month, and throughout the calendar when you get the urge to move.

Check out a new video in which Hill performs with dancer Josh Killacky:

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