'DWTS' Star Daniel Durant on Special Connection with Britt Stewart

Daniel Durant has opened up to Newsweek about his Dancing with the Stars partner Britt Stewart.

The actor and professional dancer Stewart are competing in Season 31 of the Disney+ ballroom competition, which this year is being co-hosted by Tyra Banks and Alfonso Ribeiro.

Durant and Stewart have made it all the way to semi-finals and will compete against Shangela and Gleb Savchenko, Trevor Donovan and Emma Slater, Gabby Windey and Val Chmerkovskiy, Wayne Brady and Witney Carson, and Charli D'Amelio and Mark Ballas on the November 14 episode.

The pair made it through after last week featured a double elimination that saw Heidi D'Amelio and Artem Chigvintsev, and Vinny Guadagnino and Koko Iwasaki, sent home, just missing out on the 2022 semis.

Britt Stewart Daniel Durant DWTS
Daniel Durant has opened up to Newsweek about his "Dancing With the Stars" partner Britt Stewart. The pair are pictured here on the ballroom competition. Eric McCandless/ABC

Speaking about his co-star ahead of the semifinals, Durant, 32, was full of praise for Stewart, 33, and revealed they have a special connection.

He told Newsweek: "I almost forget that, on the first day, I was so anxious because I didn't know who my partner would be. As soon as the door opened, and I laid eyes on Britt and I could see her smiling and feel her warmth I knew that we would be a great team."

Durant, who is deaf, also said that Stewart has been learning American Sign Language and is picking it up "so quickly."

"We can talk on our own and Britt's the only pro on Dancing with the Stars who can sign like that, and I feel like she's the only one that would have done that for me," he said.

Daniel and Britt Dancing With the Stars
Daniel Durant and Britt Stewart in a promo photo for "Dancing With the Stars." The CODA actor was full of praise for Stewart while speaking with Newsweek. Andrew Eccles/ABC

Durant, whose acting credits include CODA and Netflix series You, also gushed over his other Dancing with the Stars castmates, saying: "The whole cast are wonderful people, we socialize and hang out, and we all run into each other at rehearsal...There's a camaraderie there that we love. Whenever someone gets eliminated it's a sad time, we hate seeing them go but we love when they come back and visit."

He also opened up about feeling more nervous as the competition has progressed, saying: "Before the show I always have a bit of nerves, I have butterflies in my stomach, but right before I perform, they go away. So, I think those butterflies are a good thing, it means I care, and I want to make sure everything is right."

Further praising his partner, Durant revealed that when he is feeling anxious, it is Stewart that gets him through.

He said: "Britt is so wonderful and she pulls me through it, and she reminds me of everything. It's like acting, it's like everything goes away. I'm having fun and moving to the music and dancing with Britt and enjoying myself. When it's done, I feel so relieved."

Dancing With the Stars Daniel and Britt
Above, Daniel Durant and Britt Stewart perform a routine that featured a portion where the music cut out on the November 7, 2022, episode of "Dancing With the Stars." Eric McCandless/ABC

Durant's comments come after he and Stewart brought the judges and audience to tears with their emotional '90s-themed jazz routine, which included a portion where the pair danced without music.

Halfway through their performance to "Enjoy the Silence" by Depeche Mode last week, the music cut out, as Durant explained, to "give the audience and the judges an idea of what it's like to dance from a deaf perspective."

The dance earned the pair a near-perfect score of 39 out of 40 and their first tens of the season.

Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on Disney+. Episodes will be available to stream an hour after their original airing.