About

Marisa Hamamoto (Bio)

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After 20 years of dancing ballet and contemporary dance in both the US and Japan, Marisa discovered & fell in love with ballroom dancing while recovering from Spinal Cord Infarction, a rare stroke which laid her temporarily paralyzed from the neck down while in college. In 2015, Marisa founded Infinite Flow - An Inclusive Dance Company, a professional inclusive dance company and nonprofit that uses dance as a vehicle to empower people and eliminate the stigma associated with disability. Starting with no seed money and volunteering 30-60 hours weekly since January 2015, Marisa has developed Infinite Flow from a blank slate to a promising dance company and social enterprise featured by 70+ media outlets including NBC Today, Inside Edition, Good, Refinery 29, Dance Magazine, among others, and has developed partnerships with global brands including Red Bull, Facebook, Apple Inc, and Porsche. Since 2015, Marisa has performed with and brought Infinite Flow to 70+ engagements, which include guest performances at Apple Inc's new Steve Jobs Theater (with CEO Tim Cook in the audience), Los Angeles Music Center & Nigel Lythgoe's Dizzy Feet Foundation, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Red Bull Amaphiko Festival, and the No Barriers Summit, alongside famed public figures including Academy Award winner Marlee Matlin, deaf celebrity Nyle Dimarco, and renowned speaker Noah Galloway. With Infinite Flow, she has hosted 200+ live inclusive dance classes, workshops, and events, and her videos track over 35 million video views on Facebook alone, and have been shared by actor George Takei, COO of Facebook and founder of Lean In Sheryl Sandberg, and ballroom world champions Michael Malitowski and Ricardo Cocchi. 2 of her videos have been selected by Dance Teacher Magazine as "Video of the Month" as well. Other recent accolades include being selected as 1 of 115 Facebook Community Leadership Fellows out of 6000+ applicants globally; selected as 1 of 15 emerging social entrepreneurs nationwide for the Red Bull Amaphiko US Academy; creating Infinite Flow's first VR film as 1 of 10 worldwide nonprofits of the Facebook Oculus VR for Good initiative; and being named 1 of 6 "Inspirational Women" by the United Chambers of Commerce of the San Fernando Valley. Marisa graduate the Idyllwild Arts Academy as "Dance Major of the Year", and earned both her BA and MA on merit scholarships from Keio University, the “Harvard” of Japan. While in college, Marisa linked her dancing with her academic studies, and researched and published papers in the fields of Dance Science and Dance Education and served on leadership for the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science for 3 years. She is a leader and artist on the rise, and looks forward to growing Infinite Flow and inspiring many to turn their passions into purpose. 

Awards & Honors Include:
2018 Facebook Community Leadership Program Fellow
2018 Dance Teacher Magazine Video of the Month
2017 Facebook Oculus VR for Good Nonprofit
2017 Red Bull Amaphiko Social Entrepreneur
2017 Mentee, Dance/USA Institute of Leadership Training
2017 Dance Teacher Magazine Video of the Month
2017 Inspirational Woman – United Chambers of Commerce
2015 Newcomer of the Year - San Fernando Valley Business Journal Women in Business
2010 Professional Ballroom Dance Instructor Certification - Japan Ballroom Dance Federation
2010 Fukuzawa Yukichi Bunmeijuku Fellow
2007-2009 Tokyo Foundation Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellow
2006-2009 Chair, Student Committee, International Association for Dance Medicine & Science
2007 Keio University SFC Best Senior Thesis
2007 Keio University SFC Award
2003-2007 Keio University Merit Scholar
2000 Dance Major of the Year, Idyllwild Arts Academy
1998 Winner, California State Science Fair
 

“Unbelievable…” - Tim Cook, CEO Apple Inc.

“Marisa Hamamoto and Piotr Iwanicki, two dance partners – and dance heroes…  I’m grateful to Marisa and Piotr for breaking barriers, fighting stereotypes, and proving that everyone deserves the chance to do what they love.” - Sheryl Sandberg, COO Facebook

“This wheelchair dance company is 'redefining disability and reinventing inclusion.” - NBC

“You'll undoubtedly be inspired by their beautiful movement” - Annie Georgia Greenberg, Refinery 29

“So much more than a flash mob, Infinite Flow is a social movement that brings everyone together.” - Upworthy

"Marisa has an unquenchable energy & passion for her community and dance to fulfill her purpose" - Ian Calvert, Global Program Director, Red Bull Amaphiko.

“Fearless disruptor” - Porsche

“By integrating company members with various levels of mobility, Hamamoto has created something truly unique and totally uplifting.” - Nicole Loeffler-Gladstone, Dance Spirit Magazine
 

Apple Inc invited us to give a special presentation at Apple Inc's new Steve Jobs Theater for Global Accessibility Awareness Day. CEO Tim Cook opened the presentation, sat in the audience, and greeted us backstage afterwards. Click on the photo to learn more about my collaborations with Apple Inc. (2017-Present)

One of my role models, Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and Founder of Lean In and Option B, shouted me out twice on Facebook, and I had the honor of meeting her at Facebook HQ. Click on the photo to learn more on my collaborations with Facebook. (2017-Present)

I was chosen as 1 of 15 emerging social entrepreneurs to be part of the 1st Red Bull Amaphiko US Academy. Forever grateful to be part of this global community of brilliant minds creating positive change around the world. (2017-Present)

I love working with visionary leaders, artists, and brands to use dance as a vehicle to help break barriers and create a better connected more inclusive world. Click on this photo for booking info.

 

** For more info on Marisa's brand and influencer collaborations, visit Highlights

** For more on Marisa' speaking topics and motivational topics, visit Speaking

** For press and media links, visit Press