On this season of 'Dancing with the Stars', there was a stand out favorite couple staring in week one. Professional dancer Peta Murgatroyd and her partner, Nyle Dimarco, winner of 'America's Next Top Model who happens to be deaf and that's not slowing him down.
Here's the transcription of the interview:
Steve Edwards: On this season of Dancing with the Stars, there was a standout favorite couple starting in Week 1. They were…
Maria Sansone: …Peta Murgatroyd and her partner Nyle DiMarco – winner of America’s Next Top Model who happens to be deaf. But you know what, he has become such a fan favorite and it has not slowed him down at all.
Steve: You’re watching this. You can’t hear this. First of all, Ramone, good morning to you.
Ramone (interpreter): You’re right, I can’t hear it or feel it, or nothing. Nothing at all.
Maria: So you’ll be the voice of Nyle today.
Steve: How does he do it though?
Nyle: Well actually, I just follow Peta and her movements. And she’s very… she’s a performer. So basically I feel like I can see the music through her.
Maria: How do you do it?
Steve: You have certain moves you’ve learned, right? What are they?
Peta: Absolutely. I had to sort of change my whole teaching structure with Nyle, and that was an amazing thing because I’m learning so much from him. But, you know there’s different techniques that we use to get him through the dance to make sure he is on time musically, so people can have that feeling that anybody can dance and also that he doesn’t need to hear the music.
Maria: It is so moving when you dance, and I know that dancers are always very connected, but this is a whole different level. The understanding that you have to have with one another.
Nyle: Well that’s exactly right. And I think, it’s a huge benefit is that she’s actually learning about deaf culture and learning about sign language, and I’m learning to dance from her. So, we’re learning a lot about each other, and I think that’s what makes us better. I think we have that chemistry because of that.
Steve: Do you ever fully not understand what she wants from you?
Nyle. No, I don’t think so at all. I think at times, but not often. I don’t even really remember a time when we don’t get each other because she’s very clear when she shows me what she wants.
Steve: Yeah, that’s better than what we do here!
Peta: I have to be very very clear, honestly, with my wording, and I have to visually describe things and describe movements.
Steve: Do you have signals? Do you touch his back meaning one thing, and?
Peta: Yes, I sometimes tap him in on his back, like 5 taps to begin, or squeeze his hand when he needs to come forward, or give him a head raise we did in Rhumba to let him know when to start. So, all these little things is getting us through.
Nyle: We try to make our cues a little more invisible, or as invisible as possible.
Maria: They are very invisible, because I was there a couple weeks ago, and I was watching you dance, and I was looking for the little tap or the little something to even indicate that the song had started. I didn’t see it at all.
Peta: Yeah, we’re very secretive.
Nyle: Right, I think it’s magic, right? (laughs)
Steve: Now, do you feel any vibrations at all?
Nyle: No. Nothing actually. Once we start dancing, I don’t feel anything. When we’re behind backstage, you can kind of feel it, but when you get on set, nothing.
Maria: Now, what about the crowd loves you so much, so when the dance is over and people are cheering and screaming – do you feel the energy? What do you feel in that moment?
Nyle: Oh definitely, definitely. I can feel the energy in the room most definitely. And I feel -- at the end I always feel it, and I can see it in people when I’m looking around the crowd.
Maria: Yeah, it’s palpable.
Steve: How does this compare to America’s Top Model? You won that. What was that like?
Nyle: Well I think how this compares to America’s Top Model…it’s so different because with Top Model, I mean, this one we have a lot more pressure. It’s a lot more physical work. We’re dancing every day, 7 days a week. And on Top Model, you just stand there and look pretty.
Maria: You do that very well, by the way.
Steve: Oh now, your shirt is off a lot. Do you notice that?
Nyle: Yeah, I know. I know.
Maria: How do you ‘sign’ HOT?
Nyle: HOT. HOT. Yes, hot.
Steve: What has this meant for you? Has it changed the way you even view deaf people?
Peta: Absolutely. It’s changed everything for me. It has been such and amazing stepping stone with creating amazing movement with somebody so special. He’s making me so much more aware of deaf culture, and I’m learning every single day. And I’m learning sign language, which is really helping us out, and it’s an amazing experience.
Steve: When you were going to Gallaudet, America’s only deaf university, what were your plans at that point for your future?
Nyle: Yeah, when I went to Gallaudet, I wanted to teach math, either in high school or in the college level and maybe move up to administration. That was the original goal, but after that, my journey changed.
Steve: …then you took your shirt off.
Nyle: Right! Then I took my shirt off, and my life changed, I guess!
Maria: You’re too beautiful for math!
Steve: Too beautiful for math! That’s the name of his book!
Peta: That’s true. That’s true.
Maria: It’s just so inspiring. It really is.
Steve: You are now in the position where people want you to win. People expect you to win. Sometimes that’s not the best position to be in.
Peta: It’s a lot of pressure. It’s a lot pressure to be at the top, and we felt that we’ve come down the ranks. I think in the third week, we were like in the middle of the pack, and it’s the hardest place to be – to knock out amazing routines every week and stay at the top is extremely hard. Nobody really does that.
Steve: Yet another judge there. There was a judge that came in last night on the show. Who am I talking about?
Peta: I don’t know. Some guy. He’s was a bit mean to people. I don’t know. I think it’s Max. (laughs)
Steve and Maria: Max!
Steve: Who’s his girlfriend?
Peta: Well apparently he has a fiance, so I don’t know.
Steve: And who is she? I understand she’s beautiful and talented?
Maria: Am I looking at her ring right now?
Peta: (laughs) Yes you are!
Maria: Ok. Wow!
Steve: How strange is that for you to have him there judging?
Peta: Actually, it wasn’t that strange. I just didn’t view him as my fiance when I was on the floor. It was just like a regular judge, and I didn’t even feel that. I was just waiting for his comments.
Maria: Now you didn’t dance together last night, but you both had a very very good night, and you had a 10 Nyle, which is incredible!
Nyle: It’s definitely an honor. Very honored. The first person to get the first 9, and then I was the first person to get the first 10. So, it’s not very often the same person gets both.
Steve: And you got to dance with ‘Hail Mary’ Doug Flutie. So that was great!
Peta: I did! I love Dougie. He was great.
Maria: I know. He breaks your heart, too.
Steve: Pleasure to meet you. Thank you so much.
Maria: Thank you so much.
Steve: Alright, you can catch them on Dancing With The Stars Monday night on ABC.
Maria: Wow, that was my first time doing that -- with someone signing.
Steve: Ramone, Ramone – you’re going to get your own show!
Maria: You’re fantastic!
To connect with Nyle, follow him on Twitter: @NyleDimarco
To connect with Peta, follow her on Twitter: @PetaMurgatroyd
Dancing with the Stars can be found here on Facebook
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