Daniel Durant will be making his ballroom debut in the Dancing With the Stars season 31 premiere on September 19. The 32-year-old is one of the celebrity contestants in the new season, which will air on Disney+.
Daniel continues to have an epic year after his critically-acclaimed film won Best Picture at the 2022 Oscars. Daniel’s casting on DWTS makes him only the third deaf contestant in the show’s history. Learn more about this rising star.
1. Daniel is deaf.
“I’m fully deaf. I can’t hear anything at all but I love feeling the vibration through my body,” he said on The Kelly Clarkson Show in March 2022. He revealed how he learned to listen to music as a child. “Sometimes I’d ask my mom, ‘Can you turn it up so I can feel the bass?’ And my mom was like, ‘Yeah,’ but we struggled to hear it,” he continued. “So my mom went ahead and bought a new sound system, and I loved it. You could feel the bass. It was so strong. The windows were shaking. It felt so good.”
2. Daniel rose to fame in CODA.
Daniel played Leo Rossi in the Apple TV+ film which also starred Marlee Matlin, a DWTS alum. The film won Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor at the 2022 Academy Awards.
Prior to CODA, Daniel was known for his role as Matthew in the series Switched at Birth. He also appeared in a 2019 episode of You.
3. Daniel is paired with Britt Stewart.
Daniel will be dancing with Britt Stewart in season 31. Their team name is “Team Sign to Shine.” Britt previously danced with Martin Kove and Johnny Weir.
4. Daniel grew up in Minnesota.
Daniel was raised in Duluth, Minnesota, but he actually born in Detroit, Michigan, according to his official bio. He attended the Minnesota State School for the Deaf starting in eighth grade. He went on to attend RIT in New York and Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. He currently lives in Los Angeles.
5. Daniel is also a stage actor.
Daniel made his stage debut in a 2021 production of Cyrano. He is known for his performance as Moritz Stiefel in the 2015 Broadway revival of Spring Awakening.