Infinite Flow, America's 1st Professional Wheelchair Ballroom Dance Company, Sends A Powerful Message Of Accepting And Celebrating Diversity By Performing An #InfiniteInclusion Flash Mob At Venice Beach
Led by Marisa Hamamoto, a Professional Dancer Once Paralyzed from the Neck Down
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Infinite Flow, a nonprofit and America's first professional wheelchair ballroom dance company, performed a massive flash mob at 4:30pm on Sunday November 13, 2016 at the Venice Beach Boardwalk. Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161116/440427 Approximately 100 dancers of all ages and ethnicities — with half being wheelchair and powerchair users, as well as some who are deaf, blind, and those with intellectual disabilities, members who identify as LGBTQ, and two special needs dogs (a wheelchair dog named Bubbles and a dog with a missing limb) — came together to celebrate, honor and bring awareness to the importance of inclusion, diversity and accessibility by dancing together in a one-of-a-kind #InfiniteInclusion flash mob. The flash mob opened with all dancers posing for the #MannequinChallenge in silence, and then transitioned to dancing to Justin Timberlake's "Can't Stop the Feeling." The choreography uniquely fused ballroom dancing, hip-hop, and sign language, letting dancers with and without disabilities dance as equals. Here is the official video of the #InfiniteInclusion flash mob: https://www.facebook.com/InfiniteFlowDance/videos/646073595564859/https://youtu.be/qOo4sxTQu3A In the climate of much division and tension following the past week following the election results, the #InfiniteInclusion flash mob sends a powerful and positive message celebrating difference and diversity. "Though we are all infinitely different, we can unite as one, and practicing inclusion brings infinite possibilities," says Marisa Hamamoto, Infinite Flow's Founder & Artistic Director. "Dancing is a powerful tool of breaking barriers and bringing diverse people together. Maybe I can get Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and President Obama to join us for another #InfiniteInclusion flash mob in the coming weeks." Infinite Flow Founder & Artistic Director Marisa Hamamoto knows firsthand what it's like not to be able to walk. In 2006, Marisa suddenly became paralyzed from the neck down during a contemporary dance class. The following day, she was diagnosed with a rare spinal cord disease called spinal cord infarction, and was told by the doctor that she may never walk or dance again. Today she is back on her feet and dancing professionally. Marisa founded Infinite Flow in March 2015 as a way of giving back her love for dance, with the vision of building a world-class dance company that incorporated dancers with and without disabilities. During this initial year of building Infinite Flow's programs, which includes the professional dance troupe, weekly adult wheelchair dance classes, Infinite Flow Kids, and other community outreach, Marisa realized Infinite Flow was more than a dance company, but also a vehicle for social change to mass-market inclusion. She named this movement #InfiniteInclusion and launched the project with the flash mob that took place on Nov 13. Notable flash mob dancers with disabilities who joined in the project included actress with Down Syndrome Caley Versfelt (Star of A&E "Born this Way"), wheelchair personalities Mia Schaikewitz and Auti Angel (Stars of Sundance Channel "Push Girls"), professional wheelchair body builder Adelfo Cerame Jr., and deaf dance sensation Shaheem. Two special needs dogs: a wheelchair dog named Bubbles and a dog with a missing limb named Mumra joined in on the celebration as well. The flashmob was directed by Founder Marisa Hamamoto, who also danced in it as well, and the video was shot and edited by Khang Le, a Senior Film student at USCUniversity of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts. We ask that people who wish to support our mission follow us on social media, and make a tax-deductible donation at the Generosity crowdfunding campaign that launched on Oct 26: https://www.generosity.com/community-fundraising/create-infinite-possibilities-with-infinite-flow--2 All proceeds will be used towards Infinite Flow's community wheelchair dance classes, community outreach, professional dance troupe development, and other #InfiniteInclusion events and activities, leading a social movement to mass-market inclusion through dance and innovation.