How the Rollettes dance team brings inclusion to those with disabilities

The Rollettes dance team has had plans interrupted during COVID, but say they will continue to practice until they can return to performing around the world.
SHERMAN OAKS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Dancing can be a powerful form of expression, and the Rollettes want to make sure that no matter your abilities you can still dance and have fun.

"The Rollettes Dance Team consists of seven girls all with some sort of spinal cord injury, all of us are wheelchair users. We perform all over the world, we went to Italy, we were supposed to go to Israel and Dubai this year," said Chelsie Hill, founder of the Rollettes.

The coronavirus pandemic put a lot of plans on hold, including their annual Rollette Experience event, which brings together people from around the world to empower women with physical disabilities.

This has been Hill's mission ever since high school.

"I danced my entire way up through high school. My senior year of high school, I got into the car with a friend that was drinking. We hit a tree head on and I became a T10 paraplegic, spinal cord injury. When I first became injured, I heard the words that I was never going to be able to walk again, and I thought to myself, like, 'I'm just, I don't just walk, I'm a dancer," said Hill.

Even though Hill's life was forever changed she didn't let that stop her from dancing.

She went online and on social media to find others that were in her situation to build a stronger community.

"When I first got injured, Chelsie was on a reality show called 'Push Girls,' which was a show about women living their life as wheelchair users in LA. And it was just starting to get promoted just as I got injured. So my family found it like, kind of ironic timing, like, I get injured and there's a show about women I can relate to," said Maria Rabaino, one of the first members of the Rollettes.

The Rollettes said they will continue virtual programs until they can return to performing after the pandemic.

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