A professional dance company educating youth about disability inclusion in mainstream schools
- Elementary School Assemblies and ‘Scoops of Inclusion’
- Country of Implementation
- United States of America
- Start Year
- First published
“If children are exposed to disability history, disability awareness, and disability inclusion from a young age, it stays with them their entire life.” Marisa Hamamoto, Founder, Infinite Flow Dance
Infinite Flow is a Los Angeles-based professional dance company and non-profit organization that employs dancers with and without disabilities, working towards a more inclusive world “one dance at a time.” One of its programmes, Elementary School Assemblies, consists of 45-minute interactive presentations that combine dance performance and disability inclusion education. Elementary School Assemblies has reached 25 mainstream schools and some 10,000 youth. During the pandemic, a digital film called ‘Scoops of Inclusion’ was established as well.
According to the US National Bullying Prevention Center, children with disabilities are two to three times more likely to be bullied than their non-disabled peers. One root cause to these inequities and to the stigma associated with disability globally is the lack of disability awareness and disability inclusion education.
Solution, Innovation and Impact
Infinite Flow is a professional dance company and non-profit organization that employs disabled and nondisabled dancers, with a mission to create a more inclusive world “one dance at a time.” It was founded by Marisa Hamamoto, a stroke survivor, and persons with autism. Dancers include those with physical disabilities as well as those who are deaf, blind, neurodivergent, or have learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, chronic illnesses, mental illness, etc. One programme that Infinite Flow has pioneered is its Elementary School Assemblies: 45-minute interactive presentations that combine dance performance and disability inclusion education. By 2023 it had reached 25 mainstream schools and some 10,000 youth. During the pandemic's restrictions, Infinite Flow developed ‘Scoops of Inclusion,’ a 47-minute digital film accompanied by a learning platform. This online resource, based on the company’s live performances, is available to a global audience at no cost. As of October 2023 there were more than800 users who had created an online account for ‘Scoops of Inclusion’. These users are a mix of individuals, parents, families, teachers, and school administrators. While most are based in the United States, users come from other countries as well.
Funding, Outlook and Transferability
Infinite Flow’s Elementary School Assembly program operates on a hybrid business model. Earned income comes from in-person school assemblies. Partnerships with corporations involving workshops, performances, and content licensing are planned. The virtual format, ‘Scoops of Inclusion’, is freely accessible online. Future plans include expanding the curriculum, establishing partnerships with large television and entertainment companies, and integrating impact measurement tools. (Awardee 2024)