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First impressions can take only 6 seconds to make! But if you’re neurodivergent, those quick judgments about you can be misleading.

That’s where the Beyond 6 Seconds podcast comes in! Join me, Carolyn Kiel, as I talk with neurodivergent entrepreneurs, creators, advocates & more about their lives and identities. Their stories shatter misconceptions, break stigma and showcase the vibrance of neurodiversity.

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Oct 16, 2023

Content note: This episode contains mentions of sexual assault, describes a stroke and recovery, and has occasional swearing.

Marisa Hamamoto is the first professional dancer to be named as one of People Magazine’s "Women Changing the World." Her award-winning nonprofit and professional dance company, Infinite Flow, employs disabled and nondisabled artists with a mission to foster inclusion. Marisa is also a stroke survivor who is autistic and has PTSD.

During this episode, you will hear Marisa talk about:

  • Her lifelong passion for dancing, despite facing bias and exclusion within the dance world
  • How a heartbreaking rejection by her dance school classmates inspired her to make a boldly inclusive decision, and showed her how small actions can lead to big change
  • The life-changing stroke that paralyzed her for months, and the long process of healing from the physical and mental trauma that followed
  • How a salsa dance performance in Japan rekindled her passion and confidence as a dancer
  • Her dancing partnership with a disabled athlete that inspired her to found Infinite Flow
  • How she was diagnosed with PTSD and autism as an adult – and reflecting on her life, now knowing that she’s autistic

You can also find out more about Marisa on her website and connect with her on LinkedIn and Instagram.

Watch Infinite Flow Dance performances at

Sign up for Marisa's newsletter and the Infinite Flow newsletter.

Watch the video of this interview on YouTube.

Read the episode transcript.

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*Disclaimer: The views, guidance, opinions, and thoughts expressed in Beyond 6 Seconds episodes are solely mine and/or those of my guests, and do not necessarily represent those of my employer or other organizations.*