Britt Stewart, a professional dancer who competes on Dancing with the Stars, and Daniel Durant, an actor, have one more cause to rejoice over the Christmas season: they are engaged!

The pair gave an exclusive interview to PEOPLE in which they discussed the moment when Durant, who turned 34 on Christmas Eve, proposed to Stewart while they were on a walk in Lake Arrowhead, California, with their family on Christmas Day. Durant dropped to one knee and asked Stewart to marry him.

After they had all arrived to the peak of the mountain, Durant popped the question. to that moment, everyone, including Stewart’s mother and stepfather, Jasmin and Lonnie Speed, as well as Durant’s mother, Lori Durant and Mary Engels, expressed their gratitude for the past year and what they were looking forward to in the next year. In the latter part of the speech, Durant expressed his excitement about the prospect of a future with Stewart, and then proceeded to take out a ring and propose to her.

“I was the last one, and I started talking about the year, about how we had met, and about everything that happens in life,” she said. In my opinion, there is a sense of equilibrium. I am visible to her. When Durant says this, he admits that he began “welling up” at that precise moment. “She knows my culture, my language, and understands everything about me,” he adds.

“We were both emotional, overwhelmed with joy and at peace knowing that this would eventually be part of our story,” Stewart, who is 34, continues. “It felt like magic, but at the same time, it felt right and normal.”

The pair, who are now engaged to be married, were first dance partners on Dancing with the Stars. They finished in fifth place on season 31, which aired from September to November of 2022. They made the announcement that they were dating on Valentine’s Day in 2023, and Durant explained to PEOPLE that their relationship didn’t start to develop until after they were ousted from the competition.

According to Durant, a Deaf actor who is renowned for his performances in CODA and the 2015 Broadway version of Spring Awakening, “I’m a really competitive person, I wanted to win this thing and so I saw that in her and we trained,” Durant says of the beginning of their relationship.

During the time that she was teaching him how to dance, he makes the observation that Stewart acquired American Sign Language (ASL) straight from him quite rapidly. The fact that they did not often use his American Sign Language interpreter to interact with them during rehearsals contributed to the development of a closer bond between them.

I was instantly thinking to myself, “I need to learn American Sign Language because I’m teaching him how to dance,” when I first saw him and found out that he was going to be my partner on Dancing with the Stars. The explanation that Stewart gives is that he will not be using his interpreter.

The pair is in agreement that they started to realize the power of their chemistry and connection around week eight, when they performed a jazz routine to the song “Enjoy the Silence” by Depeche Mode. This was despite the fact that their love story did not begin immediately. The performance consisted of a lengthy series of choreography that was performed without any music being played.

According to me, it was the moment when our lives began to reveal each other. “I was really able to see him and his experience in Dancing with the Stars, but then I also got to see just a little bit of his life,” Stewart says of the performance.

Over time, they engaged in discussions on the further steps that they would take. According to Durant, after the time they spent working together on the program, he “couldn’t imagine not seeing” Stewart again. It was around this time that he understood his emotions for Stewart went beyond that of a simple friendship. “I believe that it was at that very instant that we grasped the feelings that we had for one another. According to him, “it was more than just friends, and naturally, we connected with each other, and after that, we started dating.”

He continues by saying, “It’s a complete surprise that I found her,” and then he goes on to explain why his love for her is so much more comfortable. “She is aware of my presence. She has a complete understanding of my culture, my language, and anything else that pertains to me.

“It’s funny, I remember us meeting,” Stewart says, reflecting on the development of their friendship throughout the course of their time together. When we were teammates, I remember us. First, I remember us as the best of friends, and then I remember us at the same time. Moreover, it seems as if we have been together for an indefinite amount of time.

When it comes to the day of their wedding, the couple, who now share a home with their two cats, are only aware of the fact that they want their closest friends and family members to be there to see them exchange their vows. “Looking at the wedding, we want people who know about our lives who can witness and celebrate with us and share the love that we have for everyone,” Durant elaborates. “It’s about celebrating together so that’s what I think our wedding will be.”

Aside from that, they haven’t really given much attention to the planning of the wedding. At this moment, all they want to do is take pleasure in their engagement. “We also want to enjoy each step of it, and now we’re just enjoying our engagement,” according to Stewart.

By Anna

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