Sign language interpreters can be some of the most exciting people to look out for at shows. Just take a look at David Cowan, a freelance deaf interpreter who appeared at Atlanta’s Pride celebrations this week and whose jubilant dancing and expressive interpretation have fans applauding his festive performance.
Captured and shared on social media by deaf activist, Dancing with the Stars winner and model Nyle DiMarco, and identified by his followers and supporters, it turns out that Cowan isn’t a stranger to the local deaf scene. He’s even been a grand marshal for Atlanta Pride in the past, and has a well-documented history of being a public member of the deaf community in Georgia, as well as appearing in ASL-related films.
But for those just discovering him, Cowan’s latest performance is turning him into a memorable new social media hero. His work has also been gaining attention on Reddit, where commenters note that he’s been known to sign for politicians like Rep. John Lewis and Gov. Brian Kemp, too; news reports on his work also suggest he’s been a part of interpretations for Black Lives Matter protests and the Women’s March.
“It’s been my passion to make language accessible in our community. It’s a privilege to break down the communication barrier,” he told one outlet in 2017. (Cowan and the Atlanta Pride organization did not respond to TIME’s requests for comment on this story.)
So Cowan is not exactly new to the public eye. But this particular day on the job will certainly go down in history.
sign language interpreter at pride ATL is 🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/2Qxh5nPaGP
— Nyle DiMarco (@NyleDiMarco) October 14, 2019
This is David Cowan. He's rather prominent in the Atlanta deaf community.
— Northie Stangl (@StanglNorthie) October 14, 2019
(Here’s where you can also watch the video with sound to fully appreciate his interpretation.)