Dancers

Mia Schaikewitz (Dancer)

In October of 1993, Mia Schaikewitz was 15 years old and a rising star on her high school swim team. She was training for a new season when suddenly one evening she found herself unable to move her legs. Within 12 hours, doctors discovered that an Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) had ruptured in her spinal cord, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down. With resilient determination and a positive attitude, she moved forward to pursue her life goals.  Mia finished high school and then attended the University of Florida where she excelled socially and academically, becoming the first woman in a wheelchair at the school to rush and pledge a sorority and graduated with a top honors in Media Production. After college, Mia moved to Los Angeles where she worked in the recording industry and later developed an award-winning career in graphic design and branding.  In 2012, Mia became one of the stars of the hit TV show Push Girls on the Sundance Channel which inspires audiences internationally and won the Critic's Choice Award for “Best Reality Series” in 2013.  In addition to her dynamic career pursuits, Mia is dedicated to raising AVM awareness and is an advocate for diversity inclusion in the workforce and media. She maximizes her time public speaking, giving back to the community, and participating in multiple adaptive sports. She recently returned to her former sport of competitive swimming and lives by her motto, “Believing in yourself means never having to say 'I can't'!”  Mia met Marisa at the Media Access Awards in 2014 and grateful to be part of a revolutionary dance project.

Adelfo Cerame Jr. (Dancer)

Adelfo is a competitive bodybuilder and personal trainer / nutritional consultant, passionate about fitness, nutrition, and physical culture, aspiring to be a successful entrepreneur.  On November 10, 2005, Adelfo was involved in a deadly car accident which left him paralyzed from the waist down as a T-12 paraplegic.  Adelfo was initially torn down spiritually, mentally, and physically following the accident, but after one year, he embraced his physical condition with open arms, and used it as a driving tool to challenge and motivate himself.  Adelfo started body building in 2007 after being inspired by a youtube video of guys in wheelchairs posing and flexing at a body building competition.  His life has been transformed ever since.  Marisa called Adelfo early November 2014 asking if he'd be interested in being her wheelchair dance partner.  Adelfo chose to take on the challenge, and is having a blast learning a new form of self-expression.  

 

Marc Lafleur (Dancer)

Marc was discovered by Infinite Flow founder Marisa Hamamoto by a random chance encounter near Infinite Flow's regular rehearsal studio (fate?!), and soon after participated in one of Infinite Flow’s first dance workshops.  After this initial event, Marc was hooked and found ballroom dancing a great way to connect with another person through movement and rhythm and a great social activity integrating those with and without disabilities.  Marc is originally from Northern Ontario, Canada where at the age of 14 suffered a gunshot injury, which left him paralyzed from the waist down as a T10 paraplegic.  However, that did not stop him from becoming a successful scholar and living a healthy active lifestyle. Marc completed his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of East Anglia (UK) and thereafter was a Post-Doctoral research fellow at Harvard University Medical School, prior to relocating to Los Angeles.  Marc now works as a research scientist in the pharmaceutical industry. Marc enjoys being active by participating in a number of sports including kayaking and downhill skiing.  Marc was also a model for LA Fashion Week's Bezgraniz Couture Fashion Show as well, and tries to live by his favorite sci-fi quote: “We’re all stories in the end.  Just make it a good one…”

Piotr Iwanicki (Resident Guest Artist)

Piotr is one of the most accomplished wheelchair dancers in the world, with multiple wheelchair World Latin Champion titles, including winning 6 World Championships, 5 European Championships, 11 Polish Championships, and a few World Cup crowns, all between 1999-2011.  He has performed as a guest artist at some of the most prestigious ballroom dance competitions including German Open, Blackpool (UK), Snowball Classic (Canada), Millenium Dancesport Championships (Florida), and has performed alongside some of the most acclaimed dancers including Michał Malitowski & Joanna Leunis, Ricardo Cocchi  & Yulia Zagoruychenko, Hanna Kartunnen & Victor da Silva.  Piotr has contributed to the popularization of wheelchair dance sport performing and teaching in many countries and inspiring other wheelchair users to dance and pursue their dreams.  He has also appeared in the Romanian Dancing With the Stars.  Piotr is mostly trained with Polish coach Włodzimierz Ciok, leader of Swing-Duet Wheelchair Dance Company. In 2012, Piotr had to stop competing after a serious surgery and spending 6 months in hospital. Proceding a slow recovery, Piotr continued to coach and explored other forms of dance including jazz, modern, and ballet.  Infinite Flow Founder Marisa Hamamoto and Piotr started to exchange emails and phone calls in 2016, sharing information on inclusive dance and exploring the possibility of working together.  After finally meeting and performing together in July 2017 in Tokyo, they mutually agreed to continue working and collaborating together.  Piotr admires Infinite Flow for its message of inclusion and Marisa’s ability to bring out each person’s beauty, whether they have a disability or not.  He is excited to rediscover dance altogether, and is honored to be a Guest Artist & Coach to Infinite Flow.  Outside of dance, Piotr is a father of 2 kids Kevin & Maya, a pool & fishing enthusiast, and the only person with a disability in Poland who has a license to train police dogs and operate a construction crane.

 

Marisa Hamamoto (Founder, Artistic Director, Choreographer, Dancer)

MarisaHamamoto

Marisa believes we all have a dancer inside of us and we all can make a difference in the world.  
Professional Ballroom & Salsa Dancer, Speaker, and the Brain behind Infinite Flow.  After 20 years of dancing ballet and contemporary dance in both the US and Japan, Marisa started ballroom dancing while recovering from Spinal Cord Infarction, a severe neurological disease which laid her paralyzed from the neck down.  She feels blessed to be back on the dance floor again, and is now dancing and teaching professionally full-time.  Marisa founded Infinite Flow in January 2015 as a way of giving back her love for dance, and it is her life mission to help find the dancer inside of each person.  Marisa has been featured in various commercials, infomercials, and tv shows, and has performed at hundreds of shows, events, and private parties. Marisa 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 was named Newcomer of the Year at the San Fernando Valley Business Journal Women in Business Awards in 2015.  Marisa has volunteered 30+ hours weekly since January 2015 to get Infinite Flow off the ground.  She is a leader and artist on the rise and has many great plans for the future of Infinite Flow.  "Whether you have two left feet or two left wheels, we all have a dancer inside of us"
www.MarisaHamamoto.com

Forrest Walsh (Dancer, Choreographer)

A native of Los Angeles and professional dancer, actor, and singer, Forres credits include commercials for Jack-in-the-Box and Pepsi, guest appearance on Dancing With the Stars, and dancing in films The Gangster Squad and Hail Caesar.  He has performed at hundreds of shows, and is grateful to have been able to step onto the stage at great venues such as the Hollywood Bowl, Alex Theater, The Gerald Ford Theater, among others, and has toured the country as a regular cast member of "Let's Dance! With Jeff Tyzik" as well.  As a competitive ballroom dancer, he is two time Open Professional American Smooth Champion and an Open Professional International Latin Champion.  He has won competitions in Lindy Hop, Argentine Tango and Salsa as well, and his dance students have placed well at competitions as well. Forrest has a Masters Degree in Opera: Solo Voice Performance, and continues to expand his knowledge and skills, studying with guest artists regularly.  He is proud to add wheelchair dancing to his skills and repertory.