Daniel Durant is competing on “Dancing With the Stars” season 31. The actor is the third deaf person to participate on the show, following Marlee Matlin and Nyle DiMarco, the latter of whom actually won the Mirrorball Trophy.
Although dancing while deaf has its challenges, Durant has taken the competition head on. “It’s amazing,” he told the Daily Moth about being on the show. When he was asked why he wanted to do DWTS, Durant responded, “I want to be involved with this to show people that they should not look at me just as a ‘Deaf person,’ but I showed up to get on the challenges not because I am Deaf, but because I am a naturally skilled dancer! I always have it inside of me. I love it.”
Durant is also enjoying working with his pro partner, Britt Stewart. It’s her third season as a pro and she is meeting all of the challenges — including working with a hearing impaired partner — beautifully.
Here’s what you need to know:
Durant Praised Stewart as ‘Open-Minded’
In an interview with Mr. Feel Good, Durant had nothing but wonderful things to say about Stewart.
“Britt is a wonderful partner, she’s so open-minded, and is learning how to sign — so she’s teaching me dance, while I teach her ASL,” he told the outlet.
“She shows me the man’s perspective of the dance, and we practice together, until all the beat and all the rhythms, the speed changes and everything, are inside me. So I don’t depend on feeling the vibration of the music, as some people think I do, it’s already in me. And even though I can’t hear, it’s working out,” he added.
Stewart Said She Has ‘High Expectations’ for Durant & Spoke to His Work Ethic
While some viewers might think that Durant has a disadvantage on “Dancing With the Stars,” he is determined to learn the steps and to improve each week.
“I do have to be intentional and I do have to be conscious about how I’m choreographing and how I’m teaching Daniel, but I have I have really high expectations for him and I know that he has high expectations for himself,” Stewart told Hollywood Life.
Fortunately, Durant wants to work just as hard as his teacher wants him to — maybe even harder.
“He wants to put his all into it and that requires a lot. He’s learning day by day and he’s just so excited about it,” she said.
So far, Durant is managing to keep up with the competition. On October 17, 2022, he and Stewart danced a contemporary number to Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now,” a song that was featured in the film CODA, which Durant starred in.
Durant was extremely proud of the dance and really felt good after it was over — and the judges agreed that it was a job well done; He received his first 9s of the season.
“I feel smooth,” he said after completing the dance. “I got it! I did it!”