Nyle DiMarco and Shaheem Sanchez Redefining Dance

Story by Valeria Munoz, Copy Editor

On the first week of Dancing with the Stars Season 22, the public was reintroduced to Nyle DiMarco. He was previously known as the winner of Season 22 of America’s Top Model.  DiMarco was partnered up with returning pro Petra Murgatroyd and there was no doubt DiMarco was in good hands. Their performance obtained a score of 23 out of 30 tying DiMarco and Murgatroyd with Wanya Morris and Lindsay Arnold, and Ginger Zee and Valentin Chmerkovskiy for first place. Dimarco and Mutrragoyd delivered a near perfect chacha to DNCE’S hit single “Cake by the Ocean.” Hours of practice and instruction as well as teamwork went into play to create such a stellar performance for Team Redefining Dance. Dimarco was modest saying “All of it is Peta…I just watch her and follow her movements with my eyes.” But one must give credit where credit is due and DiMarco clearly demonstrated that deaf people CAN dance as evidenced by his top position on the scoreboard.

Dancing with the Stars gives us small glimpses into rehearsals to get an understanding of the struggles the contestants face in addition to the final performance. DiMarco struggled a little bit in the beginning with his communication with Mutragoyd. But she adjusted her teaching style by giving him slight cues through a shoulder tap to begin the dance. Dancer Saheem Sanchez’s Youtube video on the other hand shows the obstacles deaf dancers face such as being in sync with the beat of the music. He was informed that he would gradually loose his ability to hear at a young age. Upon losing his hearing, Sanchez taught himself to hear the vibrations of the music in order to continue his passion for dance.  Throughout the video, Sanchez shows his perseverance as he allows himself to stop and work through his frustration by focusing on the vibrations and tempo in the song “Lose It” by the band Oh Wonder. Sanchez and DiMarco are proof that everything is possible if one has the motivation to persevere.

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