Dancing with the Stars is going Disney tonight, but for Nyle DiMarco, his Tarzan routine will be more deeply personal than simple nostalgia.
As the first deaf star to dance on the reality competition show, DiMarco hopes to spread awareness about what it means to be deaf.
During his vlog on People, DiMarco explained via a translator that he and his partner Peta Murgatroyd are “doing a samba for Tarzan,” says the model. “I feel feel like the two of us have a lot in common… Tarzan, growing up, had a different culture. And Tarzan knew and was very aware of his own culture until other people came in and actually told him that he needed to change.”
He continued, “Tarzan was upset about this but what Tarzan actually did — he took a look at their culture and understood what they had to offer, but he knew that his was different and he wanted to go back to his own culture, which correlates with how I was raised. I was raised in a deaf family. I embody deaf culture and I know what is best for me and for future generations. There are so many different cultures out there but it’s all about mutual respect. Let their cultures thrive because they know what’s best for themselves.”
Check out DiMarco’s full Week 4 vlog below.
DiMarco’s dance tonight will be even more poignant given that the star announced last weekend that he is launching the Nyle DiMarco Foundation, which seeks to provide resources to deaf children and their parents.
Dancing with the Stars airs tonight at 8 p.m. on ABC.