In her Instagram story about the experience, Hill thanked Hough for making her “feel like a person” and not someone defined by being “different.”
Here’s what Hill had to say:
Hill & Hough Tore Up the Dance Floor On an ‘Impromptu Freestyle’
Hill explained in an Instagram story before the filming process that she was “so excited” to film more content for American Dance Movement.
“Early and exciting morning today. I’m so excited because I get to film again with American Dance Movement. They do National Dance Day and I’ve actually done this the last like five or six years, which is really cool. I love working with them and I can’t wait for you guys to see the choreography, so let’s go!” said Hill.
Hough later posted a video of their terrific freestyle routine and captioned it, “Had the pleasure of meeting @chelsiehill and having a little impromptu freestyle moment,” to which Hill replied, “SO FUN! Thanks for dancing with me! Can’t wait to do it again! There’s so much more we can do.”
Dancers Cheryl Burke and Sasha Farber left supportive comments and so did Hough’s season 18 partner Amy Purdy, who is a double amputee and Paralympic snowboarder. She and Hough finished in second place that season.
Hill Later Thanked Hough For Making Her Feel ‘Like a Person Today’
Afterward, Hill took to her Instagram stories to share how “freakin’ cool” it was to dance with Hough and thanked him for treating her like any other dancer.
“I got to dance with Derek today, which was so cool because he literally just walked up to me and put his hands out and wanted to dance, freestyle and see what I can do,” said Hill. “To me, that made me feel like this person saw me as a dancer and as a person and not someone that was just so different. He was intrigued, he wasn’t scared.”
She added, “I felt like a person today in a different way, it’s hard to explain, but so cool. I love the show, obviously, who doesn’t? ‘Dancing With the Stars’ is amazing. On cloud nine being able to see that. When you work with a good partner, it’s just magic. So cool, you guys. … So cool and thank you so much, Derek, for the opportunity just to dance with you and be seen as a person and as a dancer.”
Hill also said “maybe one day” there could be a full-time wheelchair user on “Dancing With the Stars.”
Hill is the founder and CEO of Rollettes, a Los Angeles-area wheelchair dance team. On her website, it says that the organization is “committed to education, disability representation, and female empowerment.”
The website also explains how Hill was a dancer from a young age, then when she was 17, she was “involved in a drunk driving accident, sustaining a spinal cord injury that resulted in paralysis from [her] waist down.”
But she didn’t let that stop her from pursuing her dreams of becoming a professional dancer.
It wasn’t easy at the beginning to be the only person in a wheelchair with a room full of able-bodied dancers, trying to adapt the choreography to fit my wheelchair and a lot of choreographers didn’t even give me the time of day. But my love and passion for dance outweighed anything that anyone could ever say to me and I wanted to prove to all of them that dance is dance, whether you’re walking or rolling.
On Hill’s Instagram, she revealed on August 4 that she and her husband Jay Bloom are expecting their first child together. She also posted an incredible video of herself dancing with pro dancer Peyton Matthias.
“Dancing With the Stars” returns for its 31st season on Monday, September 19, on Disney Plus.