Dancing With The Stars pro Britt Stewart is excited to spend her third season in the ballroom. And this year, she’s even more excited because she has the opportunity to work with Daniel Durant, a deaf actor.
Daniel definitely isn’t the first deaf contestant on Dancing With The Stars, but he is the first deaf dancer Britt has ever worked with. Although she’s happy to be Daniel’s teacher, the experience has challenged her to come up with new ways to teach. See what the dancer had to say about working with the CODA actor this season.
Britt Stewart & Daniel Durant teach each other in the rehearsal room
Many theater lovers know Daniel Durant from his role in the film 2021 CODA. The film went on to win 39 awards and helped accelerate Daniel’s career as an actor. Now, he’s ready for a new challenge. The 32-year-old proudly stepped into the ballroom to join the cast of DWTS Season 31. And his pro partner Britt Stewart is happy to have him around.
“My goal in general for any season, no matter who my partner is, is to bring out who they are and their best qualities as much as I can, so that their personality is just shining on the floor at all times,” Britt said in a recent interview with Parade. “I am trying my best to do that with Daniel this season. I know he’s really passionate about also shining light on deaf culture and community. I’m trying to also help him with that, as well.”
During her time working with Daniel, Britt has started learning ASL. Viewers at home can tell she’s learning more and more with each episode. Daniel’s interpreter Gabe also accompanies them, so Daniel never misses anything.
But how does Britt teach Daniel the steps when he can’t hear the music?
Choreography requires a lot of communication
Daniel Durant may not be able to hear the music, but he can feel the beat. Performing to louder, more upbeat songs is much easier for him. As fans saw during Disney+ Night, it’s more challenging when the song is slower or softer.
“I have to be very specific, and I have to be very detailed,” Britt continued in the interview. “Usually, I would teach someone the choreography and then I would play the music and then show them the musicality, or count, and then have the count relay to the music. But, obviously, for Daniel, it’s so much different. I have to explain musicality in almost beats and cues. This is slower, this is quicker, and you hold this for two beats. I show him and let him feel how long those beats are in the music. And then I also cue him with my choreography. I have to be very specific about how I’m choreographing and how I’m teaching.”
Britt Stewart and Daniel Durant are hoping to come back better than ever for week five. There will be two episodes this week. On Monday night, the pair will perform a Contemporary routine to “Both Sides Now” by Joni Mitchell for “Most Memorable Year Night.” Tuesday night is “Prom Night” and the duo will dance the Cha Cha to “SexyBack” by Justin Timberlake feat. Timbaland.
Don’t forget to tune in and vote for Daniel and Britt! They need your votes to stay in the competition.
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