Auti Angel was born in San Diego and raised in Torrance, CA. She 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 “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 included the sudden loss of her mother to cancer, depression, drug abuse and jail time, Auti rededicated her life to God and began to rebuild her life. She returned to dancing, becoming the first hip-hop dancer to continue her professional career in a wheelchair. She started a hip-hop wheelchair dance group, Colours ‘n’ Motion, in 2003. Auti Angel performed in Ludacris’s hit video “Stand Up,” and then reprised her work by choreographing a piece, that included her dance partner, for a performance with Ludacris on the Vibe Music Awards.  

Along with dancing, Auti Angel is pursuing careers in music and acting. She and her husband of four years, Producer/DJ Eric “Stretch Boogie” Rivera, are working on an album together. Auti Angel will soon be seen in a co-starring role in Susan Seidelman’s new film MUSICAL CHAIRS, scheduled for release in March 2012.  

Auti Angel is involved with numerous nonprofit organizations. She has established her own mentor-based program, Save a Soul Foundation, to benefit at-risk youth and young adults starting in the Los Angeles area, and is working towards setting it up as an official 501 (c)(3) nonprofit. She is a director of the Positive Redirection Team at Operation Confidence, a nonprofit organization for people with disabilities. Auti Angel is currently working with UCP (United Cerebral Palsy) Wheels For Humanity; and the Kanimambo Foundation, to focus on delivering 300 wheelchairs to the neglected disabled community in Mozambique, Africa. Auti Angel has also worked with an out-of-the-box wheelchair company, Colours Wheelchairs, to provide inspiration to disabled communities throughout the U.S.; while being sponsored by Colours Wheelchairs.


Producers have told Auti Angel that being Hispanic and having a disability makes her a double threat—and it’s kept her from getting roles. But getting cast in the new film Musical Chairs changed everything, she says.