Fans of Dancing with the Stars know Nyle DiMarco as Peta Murgatroyd’s charismatic celebrity partner, but DiMarco actually got his start on another reality program. In 2015, he was the Cycle 22 winner of America’s Next Top Model. Tyra Banks stopped by the DWTS studio this week as DiMarco was rehearsing with his switch-up partner Sharna Burgess to show her support for the man who got a top spot on her program.
Banks compared DiMarco’s movement on the dance floor to his prowess on the catwalk and in photo shoots. In a clip posted by E! Online, the model marveled at DiMarco’s comfort with the ballroom, especially given his lack of dance experience.
“With ‘Top Model,’ you were an amazing mover. I remember there was one picture where you turned upside down. You were like a fashion ghost. But I didn’t know that you had this [hip swinging ability]. Where’d that come from?
“But I watch and you look like a professional dancer.”
Nyle said that he may have been influenced by his twin brother, who is a DJ and dances Latin. As Entertainment Tonight reported, he expressed admiration for Banks, who was generous as a mentor during his time on ANTM.
‘Dancing With the Stars’ contestant Nyle DiMarco gave credit to Tyra Banks for her support during ‘America’s Next Top Model.’ [Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]
“I have it say it was touching and an honor that she came to see our work. I was on her show and she trained me and I think it’s different for her to come and see me work. It means so much for me for her to take the time to come and do that.”
During switch-up week on ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ Sharna Burgess will dance with Nyle DiMarco instead of his usual pro partner Peta Murgatroyd. [Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]
Burgess gave some insight as to how she works with DiMarco. The contestant prefers not to use vibrations to get the rhythm of the music, explaining that since sound has no meaning for him, the information is extraneous. He is primarily a visual person and learns by watching his partner.
“Nyle is able to start sometimes, not just because of taps and obvious signals, but because he can see my body movement and catch on the rhythm and the timing of it.”
In an interview with Parade, DiMarco revealed that what might be a natural part of dancing for other contestants is actually what he finds the most challenging.
“Routine transitions. We need to develop cues for every transition. It’s not easy and we need to figure out the best cues that aren’t visible!”
Since this week is switch-up, where celebrities dance with different professional partners, it’s an added challenge as Burgess and DiMarco have to learn how to dance with one another.
This week Peta Murgatroyd will dance with Doug Flutie on ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ Her real-life fiance and former ‘DWTS’ pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy will be a guest judge for the week. [Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images]
Peta Murgatroyd is dancing with Doug Flutie, who gave an emotional performance during Most Memorable Year week when he and partner Karina Smirnoff told the story of the death of Flutie’s parents. Flutie’s mother died within hours of his father just last year.
Peta will see a familiar face behind the judges’ table — former pro and her real-life fiance Maksim Chmerkovskiy will sit alongside Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, and Bruno Tonioli.
DiMarco told Parade he wants to win the Mirrorball trophy — not just for his own sake but to make a positive statement on behalf of the deaf community. He is facing stiff competition from other talented dancers like Paige VanZant, Wanya Morris, and Ginger Zee.
Dancing with the Stars airs Monday nights at 8 p.m. on ABC.
[Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images]
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