Bethany Hoppe of Nashville, aka the “Rolling Diva,” wears so many hats she could open her own hat shop. A dancer, voice-over artist, college instructor, author, advocate, wheelchair athlete, public speaker, wife and mother, in spite of her disability Bethany has been unstoppable in the game called life.
Her journey however into becoming the fierce woman she is today began in an unassuming place – a simple dairy farm. Once old enough, Bethany left home, setting forth on a path that even most able-bodied people wouldn’t be able to keep up with.
One of the most vocal advocates out there for women with disabilities, and an artist at the very core of who she is, this is the amazing Bethany Hoppe.
Why she’s fearless
Since the very moment she was born with spinal bifida, learning how to be fearless was instilled in Bethany. Active in high school in both music and sports, she never let her wheelchair prevent her from fully participating in life. Wheelchair basketball, weightlifting, wheelchair dance – she did it all.
Bethany knew however she would need a solid education if she ever wanted to be independent. She went on to study communications at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania where she received her master’s in communication studies. And a few years after graduating, she was hired by Middle Tennessee State University to be an instructor of public speaking and voice and diction. Bethany has been teaching students at this prestigious college for the last 14 years.
Teaching however isn’t the only thing she does at the Middle Tennessee State University. Also passionate about wheelchair dance since being introduced to the sport in college, Bethany was part of an integrated dance piece in 2013 called “Uncommon Rituals” that included another SPINALpedia SCI Superstar, wheelchair actress and new mommy, Teal Sherer. Check it out
Teaching college students is just one slice of who Bethany is. Since its inception, she’s also been involved with mobileWOMEN, a fabulous nonprofit dedicated to helping women with disabilities. Writing about self-esteem, body image and making videos about everything she loves (from accessible gardening to baking), Bethany has become an endearing and wholly dedicated women’s advocate.
Her blogging (Raspberry Vogue; a blog following her adventures) and her writing have also garnered her a little slice of the fame cake. And in early 2013, she had her first book published, Molly B. Golly’s Wonderful Dancing Debut, a sweet story that follows a 9 year old girl in a wheelchair who loves to dance.
What we love about Bethany is that no matter what she does, it’s all comes back to promoting the rights of women with disabilities and her book, among everything else she’s done, is one step towards that. She even gave a TEDx speech in 2014 on this topic titled, “Promoting the status of women with disabilities.” It’s a 20 minute speech that goes by in seconds. Watch her speak
And when she’s not busy saving the world, Bethany and her longtime husband, Tyson, are busy parenting their two children – a 17 year old and a 2 year old, both of whom are adopted. The latest addition to Bethany’s family and they have been loving their new boy-parenting adventures in a big way.
A home life full of joy, a life full of purpose and a career she rocks at, Bethany proves to the world that women with disabilities not only deserve complete happiness in life, they can achieve it. And we love her for it.
– Visit her site: Bethany-Hoppe.com
Has your disability influenced your career too?
Watch the videos!