ridicuLIST: Deaf People Can’t Dance

Posted by: Staff Writer on Feb. 12, 2014

When Oscar winning Deaf actress, Marlee Matlin, was a contestant on season six of Dancing with the Stars, she impressed us all with her fluid waltz and mambo moves. After that season, the misconception of Deaf people being unable to dance was spun around and thrown out the door by her partner Fabian. She proved to the world, that one doesn’t need to hear to bust out a move on the dance floor.

Have you ever wondered how a Deaf or Hard of Hearing (HH) person dances without hearing a beat?

Gallaudet University and National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) both have a popular Deaf dance program for their students, The Deaf Dance Company, which has been running for many years. Special training and techniques for Deaf and Hard of Hearing dancers can be found on Gallaudet Dance Company’s website. Several examples of techniques that Deaf and HH dancers use:

“The Gallaudet Dancers need many hours of practice in order to develop an inner sense of timing for a specific dance… counting visually helps establish the basic rhythm pattern and facilitates the development of inner rhythm and timing for a particular dance. In addition, when teaching a new dance step, it helps if the instructor gives a sign count for each step, similar to giving a verbal count with hearing dancers. Occasionally, we use a drum to demonstrate the precise rhythm of a piece of music. Often a deaf dancer will use his or her eyes to watch and follow the movement of a fellow dancer who may be able to hear and follow the music.” (Gallaudet Dance Company, found at: http://www.gallaudet.edu/Gallaudet_Dance_Company/Techniques.html)

Just like mainstream high schools, institutes for the Deaf all over the nation traditionally host annual school dances for their students. However, be forewarned, dances are usually eardrum-bursting loud as if you were standing right next to a massive speaker stack at a rock concert. If you ever get lucky enough to attend a Deaf school dance – be sure to bring your ear plugs. Your lovely ears will thank you and the vibrations from the dance floor will be strong enough to get you moving.

How many of our Deaf/HH fans enjoy dancing? 

.

Tags

Comment Policy

We’re aware that issues facing the Deaf, Deaf-Blind, and Hard of Hearing Community can become quite passionate and divided. What can we say, we’re a group of passionate people! While we fully support a community full of passion, we also require that comments are respectful. We think negative attitudes and disrespect are a waste of everyone’s time and energy. This doesn’t mean you can’t disagree with people, you just need to do it respectfully. We reserve the right to delete or edit any comments we feel are judgmental, rude, or of attacking nature.

Comments

Reviews by Advocates & Champions

paoftw

paoftw

American Junkie

A group of my friends, my family and I decided to go to this place for ...

Read Full Review

Libby

Libby

Julia Cameron's Magical Mystical Massage Tour

i love julia’s massages! i always feel so relaxed afterwards. she can use her feet ...

Read Full Review

Kate

Kate

ACT Theatre

We attended the Romeo & Juliet show with Deaf actors Howie Seago and Joshua Castille. I ...

Read Full Review

Meredith

Meredith

Starbucks

This is now the first Signing Starbucks in the US! All staff sign, most are Deaf ...

Read Full Review

deafREVIEW #deaffriendly echo
deaffriendly e-news
I SIGN Button