Dancer becomes inspiration to new generation of deaf kids

Dancing with the Stars/ABC

Dancing with the Stars/ABC

“Dancing with the Stars” returns Monday night on KMBC and this season of the show has gained a special following.

Contestant Nyle DiMarco is deaf, and he’s inspiring a new generation of deaf children in the audience.

The “America’s Next Top Model” winner and “Dancing with the Stars” is getting attention for his good looks and dance moves.

“This is, like, an explosive example of how deaf people really can do whatever they want to do,” said Cameron Symansky, a junior at the Kansas School for the Deaf in Olathe.

“Him being able to dance influences me to be able to dance. I’m also a budding dancer as well,” said junior Olu’quea Siffre.

“I don’t typically like watching dancing, but I love watching Nyle,” said senior Noah Fahncke. “Every time he’s on TV, I watch the entire show. And of course, I send all my votes for him.”

Fahncke isn’t alone. The show is gaining a major following among the deaf community.

DiMarco and his dance partner Peta Murgatroyd developed a system of hand signals to keep in step. Sometimes she will tap his back to help lead him into another move.

DiMarco is winning high praise from the judges and the audience.

“He’s become a new role model,” said Jennifer Carlino, who teaches English and drama classes at the school. “He’s become a spokesman, a spokesperson, as a leader for the deaf community and that has really inspired deaf people to say, ‘If he can do it, I can do it.’ It’s truly inspirational.”

Nyle will dance as Tarzan in Monday’s Disney-themed show. Fans can root him on through Twitter with the hashtag #RedefiningDance.

“Dancing with the Stars” airs Mondays at 7 p.m. on KMBC.


Dancer becomes inspiration to new generation of deaf kids

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