Wheelchair Dance Company is Wowing Audiences with Impressive Moves
Ten years ago, dancer Marisa Hamamoto suffered from spinal cord infraction that caused her to become paralyzed from the neck down. While she was able to fully recover after just two months, Hamamoto lived in constant fear since her doctors told her that her illness could come back at any given time. Thus, she wanted to make the most of time by opening a dance company that united dancers both with and without disabilities.
To heal from the traumatic experience, Hamamoto started exploring partner dancing like ballroom and salsa. Hamamoto, later on, focused on wheelchair dancing and worked to make it more popular to people with or without disabilities.
Towards this aim, Hamamoto founded Infinite Flow dance company, which she described as “a professional inclusive ballroom dance company” and “America’s first wheelchair ballroom dance company.”
“In all of our programs, we have dancers with or without disabilities dancing together,” Hamamoto told Inside Edition. “We dance with the mission to empower people and help people embody inclusion through dance and human connection.”
While it is easy for outsiders to brand the dance company as one that primarily focuses on people with disabilities, Hamamoto stressed that they do not focus on disabilities but on what every person can do.
“People with disabilities lived with the stigma that they can’t do this, they can’t do that, they can’t dance, they can’t walk, they can’t talk,” Hamamoto shared. “When you dance with a partner, you really forget who you’re dancing with. You forget their age, you forget their ability, disability, ethnicity, height, weight, you know, forget all of that. You start to see people and feel people as people, not a person in a wheelchair,” she added.
At the end of the day, Infinite Flow works to ensure that every dancer performs freely and without limits, whether he or she is dancing on her feet or in a wheelchair.
“Regardless of whether you have a disability or not, Infinite Flow has a place for each person. We all face challenges and dancing’s a great way to kinda let go, let loose,” Hamamoto said.
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