This show never made it onto my regular viewing schedule, but I tuned in for this week’s Season 6 premiere of Dancing with the Stars because one of the stars is academy-award-winning actress Marlee Matlin. Marlee is extremely talented, absolutely gorgeous, and profoundly deaf.
I’m a hearing person who has spent several years studying American Sign Language. When I heard that Marlee would be one of the stars dancing on this show, I looked forward to seeing how they would handle communications between Marlee, her dancing partner, and the show’s hosts and judges. As it turns out, flawlessly. Marlee’s interpreter did a superb job, although listening to a male voice speak while she signs is a bit confusing at times.
I was also interested to see how a Deaf person would learn complicated dance steps and carry out them in time to music she cannot hear. Again, flawlessly! As she explained to her dancing partner, Fabian, “As a Deaf person, I use my body to communicate every day, so I think that’s a plus.”
But Marlee not only has to do the dance, she has to perform it. I thought she was amazing! The judges thought so, too. In his critique, Bruno told her, “You may not hear, but the music is running through your blood.” He then went on to tell her that he’d counted throughout the song, and she hardly missed a beat.
In Marlee's own words . . . er, signs . . . she said, “I’m here on Dancing with the Stars to show people that just because you’re Deaf doesn’t mean you can’t dance.” And she sure did show them!
Yes, Dancing with the Stars has a new viewer and I’ll be watching as long as voters keep Marlee on the show.