Daniel Durant joins 'Dancing with the Stars'

The Duluth actor, who soared to international fame in the Oscar-winning "CODA," will partner with dancer Britt Stewart on Season 31 of the reality competition series.

A man and woman, dressed formally for onstage dancing, stand smiling together on a glittery set in front of a "Dancing with the Stars" logo.
Daniel Durant and "Dancing with the Stars" partner Britt Stewart.
Contributed / Daniel Durant
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DULUTH — Daniel Durant will be competing on the 31st season of "Dancing with the Stars," alongside the likes of TikTok sensation Charli D’Amelio, original "Charlie's Angels" star Cheryl Ladd and current "Bachelorette" lead Gabby Windey.

The show revealed the cast Thursday morning on "Good Morning America." Durant is a Duluth actor who became internationally known through his acclaimed performance in Oscar Best Picture winner "CODA" (2021) — the first movie to win that award with a leading cast of performers who are, Durant included, deaf.

Durant will partner with dancer Britt Stewart on "Dancing with the Stars." Both Durant and Stewart quickly shared the news on social media, with Stewart writing, "Everyone say hello to my Season 31 partner." In past seasons, Stewart's partners have included Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir and "Karate Kid" actor Martin Kove.

"HERE FOR ALL OF THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!" wrote Weir on Stewart's Instagram post. "Go @danielndurant!!"

"Dancing with the Stars" will become the first live show to debut on the streaming service Disney+, where Season 31 will drop its first episode Sept. 19. This season's cast announcement was also notable for including D.J. "Shangela" Pierce, a "RuPaul's Drag Race" veteran who will become the first drag queen competitor on "Dancing with the Stars." Tyra Banks and Alfonso Ribeiro will host this season.


Durant grew up in Duluth, where Mayor Emily Larson declared Daniel Durant Day as the actor was welcomed by an emotional contingent of family and friends after a "CODA" Oscar season tour that included a White House visit with President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden. After that busy spring, Durant had some time to enjoy summer at home in Duluth, where he was spotted relaxing at the All Pints North festival in July.

On Instagram, users expressing congratulations included the verified "Dancing with the Stars" account, which left an enthusiastic comment on Durant's post sharing the news of his casting. "YAY YAY YAY!!!"

Appearing on "Good Morning America" as part of the cast announcement, Durant pointed out that he has experience with choreography: he appeared in a revival of "Spring Awakening" on Broadway. "But you're not dancing with a partner," said Durant. On "Dancing with the Stars," by contrast, "you have to dance and match your partner. I'm looking forward to it."

The show then surprised Durant with a video greeting from Marlee Matlin, his "CODA" costar and a "Dancing with the Stars" alumna herself. "Make sure to tell the judges and the audience," said Matlin, "to 'read my hips.'"

"The world is changing," Durant said about the rising representation of the Deaf community onscreen.

This story was updated at 1:24 p.m. Sept. 8 to add an image of Daniel Durant and Britt Stewart, and again at 3:07 p.m. Sept. 8 to add information about Marlee Matlin's message to Durant. It was originally posted at 12:23 p.m. Sept. 8.

Arts and entertainment reporter Jay Gabler joined the Duluth News Tribune in February 2022. His previous experience includes eight years as a digital producer at The Current (Minnesota Public Radio), four years as theater critic at Minneapolis alt-weekly City Pages, and six years as arts editor at the Twin Cities Daily Planet. He's a co-founder of pop culture and creative writing blog The Tangential; and a member of the National Book Critics Circle. You can reach him at or 218-279-5536.
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