If you don’t know who Chelsie Hill is by now, it probably means you’re not plugged into the “buzzing” portion of the spinal cord injury community that well, but that’s ok, I’ll forgive you, you’re about to learn all about this gorgeous and resilient 20 year old, one of the stars of Sundance channel’s reality show Push Girls.
Why she’s fearless
Chelsie Hill, a California girl from Pacific Grove, is a newbie when it comes to being paralyzed, yet she’s done so much since it happened it’s insane. She was hurt in 2010 in a car accident (T-10 level) when she was a senior in high school (the car was driven by a drunk driver; she was in the back seat), but Chelsie was back in class in three months. But the amazing part – she began speaking at area schools talking about her story, hoping to prevent future accidents like hers. Right away.
And this was just the beginning of her fighting back. Her dad and her soon founded the Walk and Roll Foundation to assist with her speaking activities. And Chelsie’s life really changed after attending a black tie fundraising gala for Life Rolls On, where she met Auti Angel, founder of the Colours ‘n Motion wheelchair hip-hop dance team. Being a lifelong dancer who mourned her legs, this was what she needed. Chelsie auditioned for the dance team and made it.
After joining the team, Chelsie met all of Auti’s friends, including Angela Rockwood, Tiphany Adams, and Mia Schaikewitz; the crew that would eventually become the five-some for Sundance channel’s reality show, Push Girls, a show Chelsie had the opportunity to be on. HUGE opportunity of a lifetime (and she’s been fun to watch!).
The show revealed a lot about Chelsie’s life, from how her injury brought her closer to her dad to wanting to dance again. They showed her journey into wheelchair dance, including trying out wheelchair ballroom dancing in this fab dress. I highly recommend watching Season One if you want to learn about real-life in a wheelchair.
So much is coming up for Chelsie. She just founded her own dance team called Team Hotwheelz and their first performance is coming up October 13, 2012, for her foundation’s first “Dance 4 Life” adapted dance showcase (can’t wait to see a video of this). If you live near Salinas, CA, you should go! (get your tickets here).
Chelsie also is still giving her very important speeches to schools and organizations under her foundation’s newly expanded Rally4Reality program, reaching out to students about making good choices when behind the wheel (watch her speak).
And yay – Push Girls has been renewed for a second season! She’s plenty busy with a camera in her face most days (while she’s brushing her teeth or driving around on California freeways). Definitely look for Season Two sometime in 2013 (most likely around the start of Summer).
Chelsie Hill is one of the best examples of a young person with paralysis keep on, keeping’ on, right from the get go that I’ve EVER seen. Her spirit needs to be bottled and shared with newbies across the world.
Did you feel motivated to get out of that bed and start living again right away? How did you do it?
Watch the “Best of” Chelsie videos!
– Chelsie Hill’s Push Girls bio
– Chelsie Hill dances again with her dance crew from high school
– Watch Chelsie Hill speak at a high school
– Chelsie Hill dancing with Auti Angel during rehearsal
– Chelsie Hill goes skiing on Push Girls
– Chelsie Hill’s drunk driving PSA for Marie Claire magazine