Marisa Hamamoto (Founder & Artistic Director)

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 80+ media outlets including NBC Today, Good Morning America, Inside Edition, Good, Refinery 29, Dance Magazine, among others, and her strategic partners and clients including Red Bull, Facebook, Apple, Porsche, Kaiser Permanente, and Refinery 29. Since 2015, Marisa has performed with and brought Infinite Flow to 80+ engagements, which include being the first dancers to ever perform at Apple Inc's new Steve Jobs Theater (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, and has shared the stage with 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 45 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 Social Venture Partners Los Angeles Systems Change Accelerator Nonprofit Leader
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

See Founders Story for more.

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