Season 27 of Dancing With the Stars is already one for the record books as Danelle Umstead became the first blind contestant in the show’s history. Umstead has an eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa and early onset macular degeneration, meaning she has no central vision and is losing her peripheral vision.Despite her lack of eyesight, Umstead has excelled in the sport of alpine skiing. In fact, she is a three-time bronze medalist in the Paralympics.In order to ski, Umstead relies on verbal cues from her spotter, who also happens to be her husband. But since dancing is very different from skiing, Umstead had to come up with a very innovative way of learning the choreography from her partner Artem Chigvintsev.“Because I can’t see, I touch Artem’s shoulders or his legs to feel the movement,” said Umstead. “And paint myself a picture.”Umstead and Chigvintsev performed a foxtrot to Andra Day’s “Rise Up.” The performance was inspirational that it left many viewers in tears.

The dancing duo received a score of six from all three judges, along with some praise. Carrie Ann Inaba said, “I’m still processing what I just witnessed. The way you moved through uncertainty, and the trust, we could feel the bond between you and Artem, which was so magical. You moved as one body.”Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC. Watch clips and full episodes of Dancing With the Stars for free on Yahoo View.





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