Deaf Model Nyle DiMarco on His ‘DWTS’ Success (Video)

March 28, 2016

Nyle DiMarco is among the ‘Dancing with the Stars’ celebrity dancers in season 22 and, as the first deaf competitor, he is a trailblazer. Alongside pro partner, Peta Murgatroyd, the ‘America’s Next Top Model’ winner reveals how he has been able to learn the dances and to compete so successfully.

Nyle DiMarco and Peta Murgatroyd

While yes, it’s true the 26-year-old Nyle DiMarco, rose to fame thanks to winning ANTM in its final season, he still was not quite a household name before signing on for season 22 of DWTS. Well, thanks to a stunning Cha-Cha performance on the season premiere of the perennially popular reality TV show, this is rapidly changing. Now, with name recognition soaring the curiosity over him soars as well.

In a behind-the-scenes interview broadcast on Good Morning America he and partner Peta Murgatroyd opened up about his success thus far. Murgatroyd demonstrated some of their hand signals that keep them in sync.

She said, “Sometimes I tap his back. That’s to count him in the 5-6-7-8. I have the squeeze. I go like this when I want to be brought back for the rumba. The good old scratch on the back;that means turn around.”

She also spoke of what she perceives as an advantage for DiMarco to not be able to hear the audience and the commotion during the live performance. She said, “I get freaked out by all the noise. There’s hundreds of people in the ballroom. Nyle can’t hear any of that. He’s in his own world with me, and it’s kind of perfect. He can’t get distracted.”

DiMarco is from a family whose deafness dates back four generations — a perusal of his biography reveals that his parents, his two brothers and his grandparents are all deaf. As a trailblazer first on ‘America’s Next Top Model’ and now on ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ not surprisingly, he has rapidly become an inspiring figure as he brings greater mainstream awareness of deaf culture and life.

In the ‘GMA’ interview, he reflected upon his achievement and fame and what it means to the deaf community. Speaking via an interpreter he said, “To actually represent them is an honor for me.”

For her part, Murgatroyd said, “He’s showing America that anybody can dance… What could be more inspirational than that?”

And it’s just the beginning. One performance as the season begins, and he already is tied for the lead. You can see that stunning cha-cha performance below, along with the full interview video as Nyle DiMarco and Petra Murgatroyd open up about his DWTS success.

Pictures: PR Photos

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