After 20 years of training and professionally performing in ballet and contemporary dance in both the US and Japan, Marisa started salsa and ballroom dancing while recovering from Spinal Cord Infarction, a severe nervous disease, which laid her paralyzed from the neck down. She is now a professional dancer, instructor, and choreographer, specializing in Salsa, Ballroom, Swing, and Tango. and is very blessed to be sharing her passion for dancing with diverse populations through her company. Marisa’s recent credits as a new face of Hollywood include being featured in commercials for Hyundai and Proactiv, modeling for Patagonia, and featured as a salsa dancer on TV shows "Dexter" and “Basketball Wives Miami”, and B. Taylor's music video "Fiesta". She is also Assistant to the Producer for the World Dance Awards. Marisa earned both her BA and MA on merit scholarships from Keio University, the “Harvard” of Japan. Linking her dancing with her academic studies, Marisa researched and published papers in the fields of Dance Science and Dance Education, and served on leadership for the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science between 2007-2010. Marisa regards herself as a multidimensional artist, spanning facets as performer, producer, entrepreneur, and scholar, and always strives to “make a difference” through her creative endeavors. Marisa is also a new member of Polynesian Paradise Dancers, a notable professional Hula/Polynesian dance company, and recently became an Instructor and Member of Alma Latina, one of the best salsa teams in the world.
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