Auti Angel & Angela Rockwood: Sundance Channel’s Push Girls

Auti Angel, a motivational speaker, actress, spokesperson, singer, and dancer, and Angela Rockwood, a down-to-earth, stunningly gorgeous, 37-year-old actress, model, life coach, artist, and producer, co-starred in Sundance Channel’s Push Girls. The original nonfiction docu-series traced the lives of four dynamic, outspoken, and beautiful women who, by accident or illness, were paralyzed from the neck or waist down. Push Girls brought an unfettered, uncensored glimpse at what it means to be sexy, ambitious, and living with paralysis in Hollywood. Interviewed by Winn Claybaugh, Auti and Angela described their life-changing accidents, common misconceptions about being a paraplegic or quadriplegic, and why neither of them would undo the past, even if they could. Auti has passed away since this interview was recorded, but her powerful legacy lives on.



Angela Rockwood is a down-to-earth, stunningly gorgeous, 37-year-old actress, model, life coach, artist, and producer/co-star of Sundance Channel’s Push Girls. Born in Clovis, New Mexico, Angela grew up all over the world as the child of a career military man. She started modeling at age 17, later becoming a fitness instructor, which led her into the world of martial arts. At 22, she relocated to Los Angeles, where she launched an acting career with small roles in The Fast and the Furious and the syndicated television series V.I.P.

Angela became paralyzed in an automobile accident on September 3, 2001. She and two girlfriends were driving home from a trip to San Francisco when her friend lost control of the car. Angela was in the backseat and was thrown through a window, suffering a broken neck and severed spinal cord; as a result she was diagnosed as a C4 quadriplegic.

Recognizing that she was “transported to the realm of the paralyzed for a reason,” Angela chose “to continue down a positive path, be an example for others in similar positions, and be a voice.” In 2003, she underwent pioneering stem cell treatments in Portugal, which allowed her to operate a manual wheelchair. Though Angela can’t move her fingers fully, she can feed herself, paint, and apply her own makeup. She has appeared on television shows such as Entertainment Tonight and Larry King Live, discussing life after her accident, and she has picked up her acting career by landing two national commercials for AARP and Sony. She is featured in CinemAbility, a 2013 documentary directed by Jenni Gold and featuring Ben Affleck, Jamie Foxx, and Jane Seymour.


Auti Angel was a spokesperson, motivational speaker, actress, singer, and pioneer of Wheelchair Hip Hop dancing. Born in San Diego and raised in Torrance, California, Auti left home at 18 to begin a professional dancing career and went on to perform with a host of well-known hip-hop artists, including N.W.A., Kid ‘n Play, and LL Cool J. She soon branched into choreography and music and joined an all-female Latina hip-hop group that was given a recording contract by Columbia’s Ruffhouse Records.

On May 3, 1992, Auti was in a life-threatening auto accident that snapped her back in half, severing her spinal cord and leaving her paralyzed from the waist down. After a difficult seven years that also included the sudden loss of her mother to cancer, depression, drug abuse, and jail time, Auti rededicated herself to God and began to rebuild her life.

Along with dancing, Auti pursued careers in music, motivational speaking, and acting and she was involved with numerous nonprofit organizations. She established her own mentor-based program, Save a Soul Foundation, to benefit at-risk youth and young adults. She joined the Abilities Expo team as their “Dancebassador,” traveling the world to share her dance demonstrations followed by her dance workshops. Prior to her death from cancer in 2022, Auti worked with United Cerebral Palsy’s Wheels for Humanity and the Kanimambo Foundation to deliver 300 wheelchairs to the neglected disabled community in Mozambique, Africa.



Push Girls series: