Meet Team Hotwheelz, hip-hop dancersDec 15 02:10
While wheelchair dancing has been a sport for over 20 years, wheelchair hip-hop dancing has never really gotten it's spotlight - until now. Chelsie Hill, one of the youngest stars from the reality show Push Girls, has founded her very own integrated (able-bodied and disabled) dance team, which she’s dubbed Team Hotwheelz.
If you've been following Push Girls, then you know Chelsie was a dancer before her injury. In the show, Chelsie, Auti and Mia are in the wheelchair hip-hop dance troupe, Colours 'n Motion (which was founded by Auti, a previous able-bodied hip-hop dancer from before her injury).
But like when any women when they get together, there was infighting. Mainly it was about Chelsie wanting to try out new moves and Auti not being interested (at least that's how they made it look on the show).
So last October, Chelsie took it upon herself to form her own troupe, integrating able-bodied dancers she knew with gorgeous paraplegic female dancers she had met after getting hurt. And the troupe is huge. Together, when they’re dancing, it's quite the amazing spectacle to behold. It exemplifies the sheer beauty of cohesive movement.
The team has seven wheelchair members. They include Chelsea, Mia Skateweitz, Katie Estrella, Ali Stroker (you may know her from The Glee Project), Joanie Carter, Maria Gast and Kaitlyn Staten. And the team is still quite young, which means who knows how awesome they’ll be a year from now. After their boot camp last fall, they've had a handful of performances at public locations around Southern California, including a recent performance at a Whole Foods in Monterey, California.
And even better, they've released a couple videos showing their moves for those who can't watch live. One of the first videos is of their first performance at Harbor High School in Santa Cruz, California (watch). I love that they don't wear skimpy outfits to get the point across that they can still be good answers too (the entire team instead wears sporty black apparel).
In a couple interviews, Chelsie has said the dance team it is a dream come to life. Once realizing you could still dance sitting down, she wanted to show the world. I love her for having the courage to make her dreams come true. She’s young and paralyzed, and nothing is stopping her.
Do you dance? What hip-hop moves sitting down do you love?
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1. Chris Jordan | Dec 21 11:53
This "sport" has indeed been around way over 20 years (1974 comes to mind to me). I am extremely happy this is still such fun! I am not 21 anymore but still enjoy this "sport"!
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Tiffiny Carlson is freelance writer and writes the “SCI Life” column for New Mobility. She's also a C6 quad from a diving accident that occurred when she was 14 years old. A lifelong resident of Minneapolis, Tiffiny has been a writer in the disability community for over 10 years and writes for several publications and blogs, as well as her personal blog BeautyAbility. Her work has also appeared in mainstream publications such as Nerve.com and Playgirl.