A drunk driving accident turned Kamille Gilmore’s world upside down but ultimately led to a remarkable journey that few can even dream of.

Twenty years ago, Gilmore was nine months pregnant with her son when a drunk driver hit her car. She was trapped and had to be pulled out through the window. The paramedics feared she was paralyzed and she had suffered an injury to her right arm. The doctors informed her that she would never regain full strength in her right hand. Despite these challenges, Gilmore’s spine was still in alignment, and she safely delivered her son. However, she had a long journey to recovery ahead of her.

“I had to go through physical therapy for my wrist, physical therapy for my body, and after that, it was just therapy for me,” said Gilmore. “After something traumatic like that, you really have to find your strength and courage.”

A former DeKalb County School District (DCSD) student, Gilmore gained strength and courage through roller skating. Not only did it help her recover fully from her accident, but it also led her to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show in Las Vegas, where she skated alongside musical legend Usher.

Gilmore graduated from Lakeside High School in 1998 after attending Briarlake Elementary School. Growing up in DeKalb County was an interesting experience for her because she was part of the Majority-to-Minority program. This program enabled students of the majority racial group at their home school to transfer to a school where their group was in the minority.

“It wasn’t easy going from minority to majority, driving for two hours to school, and getting on several buses,” said Gilmore. “I think it was worth the sacrifice. A lot of people meet me and ask why I am so open-minded. It’s because I didn’t grow up with people who looked like me.”

Her passion for performing blossomed during her time at Briarlake Elementary. She eagerly participated in talent shows, sign language choir, and dance performances.

“I learned that I absolutely love to dance, but more importantly, I love choreography,” she said.

Gilmore said that she weighed 200 pounds in high school but lost 100 pounds in one summer. She participated in various activities in high school, such as the dance team, track and field, cheerleading, and the school choir.

“There were so many things I got into in high school, which was great. It allowed us to explore and to find out what I love, and I found out I love motion, dance, and inspiring people,” she said. “I didn’t skate back then. Of course, we went with friends a couple of times, but I didn’t take it seriously until after my car accident.”

It took years for Gilmore to recuperate from her accident. During her recovery, she was invited to go skating, and she shortly discovered that she could use skating as part of her process to get back to herself pre-accident.

“In order to get back to myself, I allowed the music to move me. I started moving my hips and getting engaged to the music,” she said. I thought it was a great workout. It’s really inexpensive, and it felt like home. I created my own style through releasing stress and energy, getting back to myself, and loving myself again.”

She began perfecting her skating skills at Golden Glide Skating Rink in Decatur, then at Cascade Skating Rink in Atlanta, and visited skating rinks nationwide.

“I got my wood tacks—as we would like to say—I put in hours at the skating rink in every state, every city, where I could learn the authenticity of each style,” she said.

Over ten years ago, she started a roller skating program at Cascade, where she met Usher, who came to the skating rink one day to practice and learned some moves from Gilmore.

“He learns from us, we learn from him, and there is nothing that he can’t do. We used to skate and vibe, and I had some viral routines that I created in the skating rink that everyone would love to join in and do,” said Gilmore. I found him next to me doing one of my routines, and I was like, ‘Let’s go!’ We’ve been skating together for years.”

She is no stranger to the world of entertainment. Gilmore graduated from Morris Brown College with a degree in mass communication and has worked in television. She even played a role in the movie Drumline, portraying a dance team member.

Gilmore is also the founder of Kameo Production Studios, a dance school where her students have performed in television and movie productions. Additionally, she runs a roller-skating program called Kameo Role.

Last year, Gilmore collaborated with Usher to develop skating routines for his Paris show. While Usher was performing at his Las Vegas residency, Gilmore had the chance to attend the final show. However, a couple of hours before the show, she received a call asking her to perform, even though she was initially only planning to watch the show.

“I absolutely loved it,” Gilmore said about performing in the last show.

Gilmore was not anticipating a call asking her to perform at the Super Bowl. But again, fate intervened.
“I got a text asking me if I could come to Vegas right now. I was super excited,” she said. “To get there and see the production taking place was such a beautiful experience. It was an amazing performance, and I pray that people felt all the energy, time, and creativity that went into it.”

Through her dance program, Gilmore is giving back to the community that helped her discover her passion for performing and hopes to inspire a new generation of performers. The mother of two is now a DCSD parent and loves that her children are being educated by the same school district that educated her. She hopes that her children and all DCSD students discover their passion, as she did, and follow their wildest dreams.

“Don’t let people shape and mold you into what success looks like,” she said. “You can be a doctor and a DJ. You can find a happy medium between two different skill sets. Never be afraid to be creative and explore.”