Magazine article Dance Teacher

Dance Teacher Video of the Month

Magazine article Dance Teacher

Dance Teacher Video of the Month

Article excerpt

Congratulations to Marisa Hamamoto, Editors' Choice for Dance Teacher Video of the Month!

In "Gravity." Piotr Iwanicki balances Marisa Hamamoto on his back from his wheelchair. His upper-body strength is extraordinary, as he leads his partner around the dance floor.

In 2006, Hamamoto was temporarily paralyzed from the waist down, and through her recovery, ballroom dancing healed her emotionally. She was then inspired to create Infinite How, an inclusive wheelchair ballroom dance company, to remove stigmas around people with disabilities and reflect mainstream dance. "I wanted to showcase not just wheelchair dancing," she says, "but good dancing."

Hamamoto called upon friend and ballroom teacher Gary Franco, who's known within the ballroom competition circuit for choreographing lifts, to help choreograph the video, filmed in Los Angeles. Franco collaborated with Hamamoto and Iwanicki, a 12-year wheelchair-dancing world champion, to incorporate his wheelchairtechnique knowledge. …

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