I have had many people flooding my inbox recently with questions asking; HOW DOES NYLE DIMARCO DANCE?? DEAF PEOPLE CAN DANCE? HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?? With all of the questions I’ve been receiving; I havedecided that I would post the answer on the website. How it is possible for all Deaf people to dance.
Many people have a misunderstanding that deaf people “hear” by sensing vibrations through the floor. This is not the case. especially if the person is jumping and does not have constant footing or, the floor is not conducive for sound vibration (i.e concrete which carries no sound opposed to wood flooring which can carry vibration).
When being taught a new routine it is imperative that the instructor demonstratescounting visually. This allows basic rhythm patterns and helps with the expansion and improvement of ones inner rhythm and timing for any given dance routine. Furthermore, it is imperative to the routine that the teacher gives a sign count for each step, this is comparable to a lingual count with hearing dancers. Periodically, a drum may be used to regulate the precise rhythm of specific music. Generally, a deaf dancer will watch and follow the flow of their partner who may be able to hear the music.
Deaf Dancers need countless hours of practice to establish an interior sense of timing for a dance. Some dancers may have residual hearing and can gather cues from the music to help them in knowing where they should be in a dance (i.e. a loud bass sound). This does not occur the first time they learn a new dance; but, after endless hours of repetition and calculating all the movements in a dance step. If the dancer has the ability to use their residual hearing it will predicate on the specific hearing loss (high or low frequency loss) and the music (bass or treble tones). Bass tones are typically heard better than treble.
The most efficient way to teach a deaf dance student is to use visual counts and what isequally important is to use a quality audio sound and to communicate using Sign Language.
As always learn ASL!