Nyle DiMarco is the deaf model contestant on Dancing With the Stars who is taking the ballroom by storm alongside pro partner Peta Murgatroyd. DiMarco is a huge advocate for American Sign Language and has even started his own foundation called The Nyle DiMarco Foundation. That’s right. He’s more than just a pretty face. Last week on DWTS, he revealed that he is single, but he had a girlfriend for 10 years. Clearly, DiMarco is a loyal and committed kind of guy. To get to know more about DiMarco’s love life, his DWTS partner Peta Murgatroyd, behind-the-scenes info and his life outside the show, read our exclusive interview with him below.
HEAVY: So tell me about some of the challenges as well as some of the advantages you feel you have in the competition.
DiMarco: Our dancing transitions are the challenge here. We have to develop cues for every transition. It’s not easy and we have to find the best cues that aren’t noticeable! My advantage is me being Deaf. For one, I’m not able to hear the noises on set that the other stars have talked about for their mistakes. I’m also super visual. There is research proving that Deaf people have increased vision abilities. It’s basically a superpower. I see everything in detail. Whatever Peta demonstrates, I’m able to imitate. I think this is why I pick up fast and why I’m able to time-memorize everything.
HEAVY: What is a typical rehearsal like for you and Peta?
DiMarco: Lots of energy and lots of laughing. We really enjoy our rehearsals and we always have fun. I think this is why we have a strong relationship.
HEAVY: Let’s talk a little about your appearance on the TV show Switched at Birth, where you played a “ladies man.” What is your personality like in real life?
DiMarco: I’m really laid back. I like to relax and enjoy the moment. I love people and I love talking to random people about things.
HEAVY: Who in the cast of Dancing With the Stars did you bond or click with the most?
DiMarco: The stars would be Marla Maples, Paige VanZant and Wanya Morris.
HEAVY: I bet you were sad to see Marla go home then … What are you hoping to do when Dancing With the Stars is over?
DiMarco: My Deaf writer and I are writing a series together and we hope to get started on that right after! I also want to focus on my Nyle DiMarco Foundation and improve the lives of Deaf people.
HEAVY: That sounds so exciting. I look forward to hearing about that series of yours! So, who do you think is your biggest competition on the show?
DiMarco: Wanya Morris, Paige VanZant, Ginger Zee, and myself!
HEAVY: Ha. You are your own competition I see. How did you feel performing the Tango for the first time on the show?
DiMarco: It was incredible. It was nothing like our rehearsal all week. We gave our 150% and we couldn’t have been better. Peta’s emotional reaction right after our dance pretty much sums it all up. She knew we aced it and she was proud. I’m touched. It was beautiful.
HEAVY: With Peta crying and emotions running high, what was that moment like for you?
DiMarco: She knew I executed it perfectly. We worked so hard all week. It was also a tough week because I had to travel. We just brought our A-game and truly showed what Tango should look like. The story was touching and it truly told my life post college. That made everything more meaningful.
HEAVY: Let’s move on to modeling. Tell me about how your career is going in that area.
DiMarco: It has been going great! I’m enjoying it and enjoying every person I meet along the way. I just landed on 2XIST campaign. I look forward to more!
HEAVY: Congrats! So, I’ve heard that Peta’s fiance Maks has stopped by rehearsals and he also showed up as a guest judge on the show last week. Has he been able to help give you any guidance?
DiMarco: I appreciate him coming and giving advice. I feel like he’s the best person to take advice from because of our similar features. We’re tall. We’re big and muscular. And, we look alike! It’s perfect for me to see him doing dances and kind of see myself in them.
HEAVY: I have to ask (for all those panting fans out there), are you currently dating anyone?
DiMarco: I’m single. Dating is not in my priority. I want to focus on my career and my foundation.
HEAVY: When you ARE dating, what do you look for in someone?
DiMarco: Someone who is able to carry a conversation. Loves gym. Loves the beach. Loves the sun! And, is very independent.
HEAVY: So, I hear you have a twin brother. Does he dance at all?
DiMarco: He loves all the 90’s hip hop dances. He’s always dancing, ever since I can remember.
HEAVY: And, he’s deaf as well, right?
DiMarco: I actually have two brothers; both are Deaf. My twin works for the IRS and owns a DJ business. My older brother coaches football and teaches physical education.
HEAVY: Okay, for those out there who suffer hearing loss and look to you for inspiration, what can you tell them?
DiMarco: I would suggest learning ASL! Find their local Deaf community (we’re everywhere) and I’m sure they will love it. I want to also say that they’re able to do anything if they work 2 times harder.
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