Ellen DeGeneres does a superlative job every day in making her millions of viewers feel uplifted, even when the evening news seems full of headlines and hopelessness to numb the consciousness. Her “Instant Mood Lifter” segments and moments of fun with furry creatures bring respite and a smile, and other guests truly inspire by example as much through any performance. Chelsie Hill gave one of those performances on Monday from the “Ellen” stage. The 24-year-old and her partner, Josh Killacky, displayed stunning artistry and beautiful interpretation, with the use of legs not being mandatory. Jennifer Lopez and Derek Hough would come on later for a dance-off of their own, but this young woman on wheels has a message much deeper than bodily movements.

No stopping the spirit

Chelsie Hill has literally danced her whole life, and the beautiful brunette had great awareness of her body's abilities, but absolutely no understanding of what a spinal cord injury could rob from her as a result of a very consequential choice. She willingly got into the car with a driver who she knew had been drinking, like so many young people who assume “nothing can ever happen to me.” Ramming into a tree at 60 mph would leave her paralyzed from the waist down, and bound to a wheelchair. Still, her spirit could not be contained. She is committed to staying a dancer. After just 51 days out from being discharged from the hospital, Chelsie began dancing on wheels with her high school dance team. She took her inspiration and transferred it into creating a wheelchair dance team.

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“Dancing is dancing, whether you're walking or rolling,” she stressed to Degeneres and her audience. The applause confirmed agreement.

Feeling the power of forgiveness

The spirited dancer came to grips early with the reality that “I had a mental part in this,” knowing that healing was much more than physical. She came to the point of forgiving her driver, and then moved beyond that place with the grace, actually helping him in court to get his sentence reduced. “He’s doing good now,” reports Hill with a smile. She is at peace now in every sense and knows that her extension of pardon was part of forgiving herself for the choice she made to be a passenger.

Moving where it matters

Bathed in purple light, Chelsie and Josh began flowing movements with their arms and hands that were so synchronized and expressive that the lower portion of the body hardly mattered, apart from the delicate spins made by the pair. Killacky had fine moments of footwork, and in deftly articulate moves, such as resting his foot on an armrest of Chelsie’s wheelchair, the two dancers became one body. There was a romantic dip before a hand caress to close the performance. Standing or otherwise, the ovation was much deserved. Dancing re-entered the range of possibilities for those in wheelchairs and the fully able-bodied because of this showcase of spirit.