As human beings, we all share some traits that are similar with others’. Yet at the same time, we are all different in more ways than one. And just how our similarities bind us together, our differences make us unique. While initial ignorance causes us to be fearful of the differences we have with another person, taking the time to know such people makes us truly appreciate and celebrate those differences.
This is due to the fact that we are inherently programmed to include others in our lives, just as we like to feel included ourselves. However, everyone is too busy these days in their own lives to make an effort to understand a total stranger. This is where Infinite Flow’s #InfiniteInclusion comes in, hoping to bridge the gap between different people.
While people with disabilities are often seen as incapable of living life to the fullest, Infinite Flow does its very best to create an environment to encourage wheelchair users to feel empowered. Based in Los Angeles, it is America’s first professional wheelchair ballroom dance company. Its founder, Marisa Hamamoto, was once paralyzed from the neck down in an accident while performing contemporary dance in college. Although she walked out of the hospital two months later, it made her realize the hindrances a disabled person must come across. Thus, she founded the non-profit organization in March, 2015.
The Concept behind Infinite Inclusion:
In an effort to create mass market inclusion for people from diverse social and cultural backgrounds, Infinite Flow created a movement to break down barriers. The social movement aims at not only including people from different backgrounds, but also those who are disabled. The word Infinite in the phrase refers to inclusion on a wide spectrum, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or sexuality. This idea came after the realization that even in a country with as diverse a population as that of the USA, people still don’t fully understand the differences they have with others, and how these can be celebrated.
November 13 Flash Mob:
One of the best ways to grab a crowd’s attention is to execute a successful flash mob. That is why Infinite Flow raised awareness for the necessity of inclusion by planning a flash mob of around a hundred dancers. This included dancers from all ethnicities and age groups, as well as individuals who identify as LGBTQ, wheelchair users, and two adorable disabled dogs.
What started out as the newly trending Mannequin Challenge in complete silence, swiftly blended into a brilliantly choreographed dance routine. This one-of-a-kind event, held at Venice Beach in Los Angeles, sent a positive message of celebrating diversity, following a very tense week after the US Presidential Elections.
Marissa Hamamoto herself led Infinite Inclusion, with the stance that people can unite as one despite being different from one another. In an effort to combine humor with hope, she went on to say that dancing was a great way to unite people who may otherwise not understand each other, and that maybe next time she would invite Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Barrack Obama to give it a try as well. All jokes aside however, this event was very helpful in making people realize that the only barrier between them and others is their own hesitation to include others into their lives, and this inclusion can help bring people much closer on a global scale.