Chelsie Hill has been passionate about dance all her life. She was the captain of her high school dance team and dreamt of becoming a professional backup dancer.
At age 17 however, her life was radically altered after she suffered a spinal chord injury that left her paralysed from the waist down after being involved in an accident with a drunk driver.
When doctors told her she would never walk again, her response was “forget walking, I just want to dance”. And she hasn’t looked back since.
In 2012, two years after her accident, Chelsie got back into dance and this month she took part in her first dance video. The professionally choreographed and produced clip sees the California resident take centre stage alongside a group of able-bodied dancers in the hip-hop routine.
The video is only the latest in a string of achievements Chelsie has accomplished in the past four years. Having never given up on her passion, she now dances in both wheelchair and mixed troupes, and takes part in dance camps.
She also teaches wheelchair dancing classes and holds online tutorials via her YouTube channel where she leads viewers through steps categorised by skill level.
"There are so many able-bodied people doing tutorials, so why shouldn't I do them?" she tells the Daily Dot.
Outside of this sphere, Chelsie has begun educating young people about the dangers of distracted driving.
She visits high schools alongside another person injured in a texting and driving accident to explain how one decision has changed their lives, in Chelsie's case, her decision to get into a car driven by someone under the influence of alcohol after having a casual drink with friends.
The speeches are organised via Chelsie's Walk and Roll Foundation, which she established with the support of her father and whose mission statement is to turn limitations into opportunities.
Her heart is set on training to walk again but she says she won't let it distract her from enjoying what she can do without her legs.