September 26, 2018

First blind 'DWTS' cast member wows judges with her dance perfomance

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History was made on the 27th season of "Dancing With The Stars" with the show's first-ever blind contestant. 

The 46-year-old Danelle Umstead is an athlete and alpine skier with three Paralympic bronze medals under her belt. 

Read more on our Twitter account, @amomama_usa. The video can be seen below. She completely swept the judges off their feet with her performance. Umstead said: 

"As an alpine skier, I’m able to charge down the mountain at up to 70 miles per hour — without being able to see."


She explained that her husband "guides [her] down the mountain" but added that she set her sights on a new challenge now: dancing. 

Umstead was teamed with Artem Chigvintsev, and they chose to dance the Foxtrot to Andra Day's "Rise Up." She said:

"Because I can’t see, I touch Artem’s shoulders or his legs to feel the movement and paint myself a picture."


Chigvintsev, on the other hand, said teaching Umstead was the biggest challenge he's ever had on the show, but that they made a great team as well. 

He wasn't the only one impressed with Umstead's determination. Her husband said: "It was great. I was really impressed. I’m blown away."


While he is the one who guides her down mountains at 70 miles an hours, she didn't allow him to sit in on their dance recitals. 

He was just as amazed as the judges when he saw the performance for the first time. Umstead and Chigvintsev scored 18 out of 30. 


They are halfway up the scoreboard now and on their way to claim the Mirrorball Trophy. Fans can tune in to "DWTS" on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. to see their progress. 

Their competition is fierce, and the duo will go up against the Bachelorette contestant Joe Amabile who will be paired with Jenna Johnson.


Other duos include Fuller House's Juan Pablo Di Pace who is paired with Cheryl Burke. 

Radio personality Bobby Bones will take the stage with Sharna Burgess, and model Alexis Ren has teamed up with Alan Bersten. 

The line up also includes Evanna Lynch, who is known as Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter franchise. 

She appeared in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" as well as Part 1 and 2 of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows."