‘Dancing With the Stars’ Contestant Admits to Taking ‘Secret’ Dance Classes

dwts season 31

ABC "Dancing With the Stars" season 31 contestants

“Dancing With the Stars” is a crash course for celebrities in multiple types of dance including ballroom and Latin styles. For one season 31 contestant, the idea of being on the show was enough to push him into dance classes.

Daniel Durant, the deaf actor who has been partnered with professional dancer Britt Stewart for season 31 of the show, has been a standout throughout the first few weeks of competition, impressing judges Derek Hough, Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli and Len Goodman with his musicality and earning scores putting him toward the top of the leaderboard each week.

The CODA actor, 32, was urged by a costar to take dance classes ahead of time, he revealed to People.

Durant Enrolled in Dance Classes Before ‘Dancing With the Stars’

According to Durant, he was told by his costar and season 6 “Dancing With the Stars” contestant Marlee Matlin that he should get a leg up on the competition by taking some extra classes, he told People.

“I let her know that I was in ‘Dancing With the Stars’ and she called me instantly, FaceTimed me … and she was like, ‘You have to take my advice. You need to go work out. You need to take secret dance classes, find whatever training that you can get before you go,” Durant told the outlet. “I started doing everything. I took some dance classes. I worked out before I moved to LA.”

Durant told People that his CODA costars Matlin and Troy Kotsur are like parents and mentors to him.

“We’re still connected that way and [they’re] like my parents. Honestly, I feel like that’s my dad and that’s my mom,” he said. “So they were watching us in the audience and it was brilliant, but it was also a big deal because they were the only two Deaf people who have Oscars in the world and they’re sitting right there in the audience for me.”

Kotsur was in tears after the performance, Durant revealed.

“It’s nice because we’re Deaf, so I’m on the balcony … and I can have full conversations with Marlee and Troy during the show that we were signing to each other,” Durant shared. “And Troy was like, ‘Man, you made me cry when you started dancing.'”

Durant’s Partner Is Proud of His Work So Far

Stewart, who has been working with Durant since the beginning of the competition, took to Instagram to share how proud she is of her partner after “James Bond Night,” which aired on Monday, October 3, 2022.

During that episode, the two performed the Rumba to the song “The World Is Not Enough” by Garbage. The judges were impressed. Carrie Ann Inaba called the performance “mind-blowing” and said the dance was “sexy and brilliant.” They ended up with a 31 out of 40, which was one of the higher scores of the night.

“@danieldurant you just keep getting better!” Stewart wrote on Instagram. “I’m so proud of the hard work you put in week after week. You were so patient this week while we worked on the little details over and over. The growth you have made in these three weeks is astonishing! You had no prior dance training and you are crushing it! I’m so proud of you.”

For Disney+ Week, which is set to air on Monday, October 10, Team Sign to Shine is performing a Quickstep to “Finally Free” from “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.”

“Dancing With the Stars” airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Disney+.

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