One thing I am passionate about is changing the perception of how society views people with disabilities. All people disabled or not can have times of doubt or low self-esteem, but most people with disabilities have a harder time. We work harder on our confidence and being accepted. My mission is to unite all people by making sure my fellow differently-abled people see themselves in a positive light. We need to make others see us as powerful dynamic pillars of society.
A few months ago I met Marisa Hamamoto. She is the founder and creative director of Infinite Flow – A Wheelchair Dance Company. I attended one class and immediately joined. The class is inclusive which means you can attend if you’re standing or in a wheelchair. We all dance together, and you know I’m all for inclusion. Being the daughter of a retired professionally trained dancer I always felt unfulfilled because I couldn’t continue my mother’s legacy of professional dance. Meeting Marisa and dancing with Infinite Flow has given me the opportunity to live out a dream. We focus mainly on Ballroom but also incorporate other styles.
I wanted to plan an event for Marisa since her fight for inclusion is similar to mine. I told her I wanted to plan a fundraiser for infinite flow. If you’ve ever met Marisa she puts her heart and soul into her work and creates an amazing cause to our community. So naturally I wanted to support in any way possible. When you combine Infinite Flow and their cause of #InfiniteInclusion with Accessible Hollywood and my love for beauty you get infinite inclusion beauty. Me being a beauty enthusiast, I live by make-up therapy but, it’s what comes from within that’s important, not what’s on the outside. Although a little mascara and a smile can help a lot.
On Sunday November 20th, 2016 Marisa, my friend Keysha & I joined forces and created magic! We had four photographers and a make-up team from The Paul Mitchell School- Sherman Oaks. We all gathered in a beautiful large and studio space provided by Linda Kroff. All the participants with a Donation to Infinite Flow were able to get their makeup done by the wonderful Paul Mitchell Team and do a small photo shoot with one of our photographers which consisted of Sheldon Botler, Michael Hansel, Leticia Rey Photography & Valerie Brown. We also had speakers like Model/Host Tamara Mena & Stephanie Thomas from Cur8able who shared fashion tips for a seated body type. We also had the amazing Mia Schaikewitz from the hit show Push Girls who is also one of the founding members of Infinite Flows Professional Dance Troupe and my Friend Jon Lafferty who both supported as Host and mystically they wore the same color and did not plan it, if that’s not a sign I don’t know what is. Everyone started to line up to check in and get started on their makeup with the lovely ladies from Paul Mitchell School Sherman Oaks while we listened to the sounds of Ykarus and jammed to his House tunes. The smiles and laughs from all the Infinite Inclusion models was the best feeling ever. We took tons of photos and I also got to thank everyone who helped and share a little bit about why I started Accessible Hollywood since this was the first time we sponsored an event, the first of many I might add. Dont forget Accessible Hollywood’s purpose is to continuously strive for inclusion. I really want to thank all my friends and family who supported and helped out and all the amazing people who attended, spoke, gave a donation, volunteered their time etc. A mother and daughter duo came all the way from the Bay Area and another young lady came all the way from Temecula just to attend this event and support Infinite Flow. This was a great event that i’m so glad I had the chance to put together with Marisa and so happy everyone had a great time. It was for sure the perfect start to bringing beauty and inclusion together. We did raise money for Infinite Flow but they haven’t met their goal yet so if you would like to donate click this link to support their cause for inclusion through dance and innovation. I’ll have a few photos of all the fun below.
Thanks for reading, Tatiana A. Lee
Photo credit goes to all our amazing photographers listed above and other social media platforms: