Non-Profit Infinite Flow Makes Announcements
Infinite Flow, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization, and America's first professional wheelchair ballroom dance company announces a name change from "Infinite Flow - A Wheelchair Dance Company" to "Infinite Flow - An Inclusive Dance Company." The company also releases an all new logo and announces exciting growth and strategic plans for 2018.
Infinite Flow (IF), an emerging, inclusive dance company that uses dance as a vehicle to empower people and eliminate the stigma associated with disability, has changed its name in overwhelming response to community diversification. "IF began with 2 wheelchair dancers and 2 standing dancers. Now we have a roster of over 15 dancers that include deaf, amputee, little persons and blind dancers, and a national and global following of people of all abilities, as well as a program where kids with and without disabilities dance and grow together, cultivating young leaders and dancers, shaping a new generation," said Founder Marisa Hamamoto, a professional dancer who was temporarily paralyzed from the neck down with a rare form of stroke. "And our flashmobs are even more diverse advocating for LGBTQIA and other minority groups. Whatever it is, we dance with the message that we are all infinitely different, but can unite as one."
On the calendar for 2018, IF will produce 2 interactive live dance events that will be both unique and innovative, in addition to its various guest appearances at events and festivals throughout the country. To be announced soon, IF will focus on creating events that bring the community together while building upon its social movement.
"2017 was such an incredible year and I'm so humbled by the recognition and support IF has been given," says Hamamoto. "It truly is my goal to live in a world where the word 'inclusion' does not exist, where dance is accessible to all and where everyone celebrates each other's differences. With all the support of IF this past year, I'm beginning to think this is possible."
Recently, when Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, mother, author, and celebrated women's leader, shared a documentary video on January 6th on her Facebook feed featuring IF to her over 2 million followers, Hamamoto knew IF was becoming more far-reaching than she imagined. Sandberg states in her post, "ever heard of a wheelchair dance group? It exists - and the story behind it is incredible."
Joining the movement of inclusion, IF's brand partners include global mega brands Red Bull, Facebook, and Apple Inc. This past summer, Red Bull chose Hamamoto out of hundreds of applicants as 1 of 15 emerging social entrepreneurs to be part of the 1st Red Bull Amaphiko U.S. Academy, a launch pad for grassroots social entrepreneurs who are making a positive difference in their community. Additionally, Facebook produced and published a 3-minute documentary featuring IF for its "Community Voices from Facebook", a Facebook Page administered by Facebook featuring stories that represent their mission to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. IF was also chosen as 1 of 10 worldwide nonprofits to participate in Facebook-owned Oculus's "VR for Good Initiative" pairing 10 up-and-coming filmmakers with 10 unique causes to create great VR experiences that showcase the need for social change. The film will be released this year. And IF was honored to represent Apple Inc. in October 2017 with a performance at the Disability Rights Legal Center Gala when Apple received the DRLC Business and Technology Award.
Also, in 2017, Hamamoto was named 1 of 5 Inspirational Women of the San Fernando Valley by the United Chambers of Commerce and was selected as 1 of 8 emerging leaders by Dance/USA, a national service organization for the professional dance field for their "Institute of Leadership Training." IF's recent inclusive flashmob video was named "Video of the Month" by Dance Teachers Magazine and IF dancers have been featured on national commercials such as Super Bowl's "It's a 10 Hair Care" commercial, national TV shows such as Speechless, and A-class fashion shows such as LA Fashion Week.
Since its inception in 2015, IF has instructed over 200 wheelchair users, hosted over 150 community inclusive dance classes in the Los Angeles area, performed over 60 live shows including performing at the National Dance Day flagship event at the Los Angeles Music Center organized in conjunction with So You Think You Can Dance Producer Nigel Lythgoe's Dizzy Feet Foundation, and toured to the famed Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Additionally, IF has been featured in many national, local, and digital media & publications and has collaborated with numerous local and national organizations.
With over 30 million video views across Facebook, IF is just getting started. Grants and sponsors have included the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation and Ovation TV and additional funding and corporate support will help IF realize its mission of using dance as a vehicle to mainstream inclusion and remove the stigma associated with disability. Infinite Flow is available for performances, workshops, and speaking engagements.