‘DWTS’ Celeb Danelle Umstead Has Four Legs Up On Her Competitors

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Danelle Umstead has four legs up on her Dancing with the Stars competitors. The visually impaired alpine skier, who also has multiple sclerosis, shared her grand debut on the ABC reality competition series with a special furry friend who is also her faithful companion.

Her guide dog Aziza, who assisted Umstead when she competed in the 2018 Paralympic Games, has been a constant behind the scenes throughout the athlete’s training on the show.

Aziza and Umstead’s pro-partner Artem Chigvintsev, work together to keep her calm throughout the tough training schedule for the series.

Umstead noted that while she had four years to ready herself for her Paralympics challenges, she only has two weeks to prepare for two dances and thereafter, one week to prepare for one dance. Aziza helps her to remain focused during the intense training schedule.

“Aziza is my comfort place. She gives me the confidence to get around everywhere I need to go so that I can be a part of the show. She is there supporting me during every little detail – watching me, ready to take care of me when I need her,” Umstead said in an interview with People Magazine.

Umstead noted to People that Aziza “adores sliding across the dance floor and meeting new people.”

“She gets super excited. She puts the tutu on and wiggles around, and she’s happy to do it as long as she knows she’s getting her Natural Balance treats. As long as there are treats, she’ll do her dance moves on the floor,” Umstead quipped.


The entire cast is allowed time with Aziza, according to People, when she is relaxing and not in her harness.

Umstead is looking forward to her Dancing with the Stars journey with Aziza by her side.

“I’m excited to get out there and see what I’m capable of when it comes to dancing. And seeing how being visually impaired and having Multiple Sclerosis comes together and hopefully it’s a beautiful package that America will love,” she revealed to People.

Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays on ABC.