Dancing with the Stars Season 22 contestant Nyle DiMarco will bring something new to the dance floor — he’s totally deaf. Yesterday, he talked to Access Hollywood about the challenges that come with that, and it actually seems to pose a bigger challenge to the teacher than to the student. The Dancing with the Stars pro who will work with Nyle in Season 22 is Peta Murgatroyd.
She told Access Hollywood, “I 100% have to be a better teacher this season.”
DiMarco believes he will be a serious contender for the coveted Mirrorball trophy on Dancing with the Stars Season 22. He explains that because he has never been able to hear, it’s just something he lives with and that he has never seen it as a barrier. As he learns to dance for Dancing with the Stars in Season 22, he will rely on what he sees and on Peta’s rhythm and timing. Murgatroyd is learning to be much more visual in her instruction. She gave an example of how her teaching method with Nyle for Season 22 differs from her methods in previous seasons of Dancing with the Stars.
“I have to make sure I show everything… so much more visually. Like if I’m talking about feet sliding across the floor, I’m going to touch the floor and like paint the floor with my hand so he knows exactly how I’m describing things.”
Nyle DiMarco explained that not all communication is verbal. He has learned to communicate visually by observing body language, a skill he’ll bring to the floor on Dancing with the Stars Season 22.
“I think you dance with your body. You don’t need language to communicate. For the dance, I think visual communication is what’s important.”
With his appearance on Dancing with the Stars, Nyle hopes to redefine how people think about dancing. He hopes that in Season 22, he can get people to think about dancing as an experience that goes beyond hearing and actually involves all your senses.
DiMarco believes that he will bring something to Season 22 of Dancing with the Stars that others would probably see as a hindrance but that he credits for his general success in life. He has always been deaf. His entire family is deaf, including two brothers. Nyle was born into a family that now has four generations who are totally deaf. It’s what he has always known. The deaf community has always been part of his life. DiMarco has learned to use other senses and skills to succeed, an ability he believes gives him an edge going into Dancing with the Stars Season 22.
Dancing with the Stars pro says rehearsals have gone very well so far, and she’s ready for Season 22 to kick off so she and Nyle can show their stuff.
She told ET, “I’ve never trained with a deaf person before, so it’s a whole new ball game for me. Being a teacher, I have to really find out different teaching methods to be able to overcome this, and so far we’re going really well… He’s doing amazingly well. Part [of that] is just his amazing work ethic. He literally doesn’t sit down. Usually people will sit down every five minutes, but he works constantly throughout the four hours that we have.”
“It’s not exactly what I expected. I thought that I would struggle a lot and it would be frustrating, but actually, it’s going really well.”
Dancing with the Stars Season 22 is not Nyle DiMarco’s first experience with competing on television. He was the winner of Season 22 of America’s Next Top Model. He was the first deaf contestant on the show.
[Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]