Deaf Girl's "The Champion" ASL Cover Goes Viral


There is a viral video of a Deaf girl, Savannah, signing an ASL cover for “The Champion.” Her clear ASL and passion went through the screen and touched many people. 

[Video clip of Savannah signing lyrics] 

I reached out to Savannah and her father, Richard Dahan, who posted the video. 

Savannah: Hi everyone! My name is Savannah and I am eight years old. I’m in the third grade. I go to MSD Maryland School for the Deaf in Frederick. 

Alex: I asked Savannah what inspired her to sign. 

Savannah: The musician who sang the song was my favorite singer — Carrie Underwood. I am her #1 fan and I am learning all of her songs and practicing her lyrics with my mom. We watch the videos and we look at the lyrics. We practice together. I’ve started signing the songs that I like. That’s why. 

Alex: I asked what kind of music she likes to hear with her hearing aids. 

Savannah: I enjoy listening to music with my hearing aids. When I put them on, I can hear all genres of music such as country, oldies, pop, and many others, all kinds of music. Like, all the music, everything. The music! 

Alex: I asked her what is her dreams for the future. 

Savannah: My dream and my passion is to be a marine biologist. I want to be a marine biologist because sea animals have been hurt because people throw away plastic, cause pollution, everything, all kind of plastic and pollution. Trash is everywhere, it is litter. I don’t like this and I want to save the animals. 

I asked the father, Richard, on what kind of impact he saw on other people. 

Richard: I really think the video crossed cultural lines between the deaf and hearing. If someone doesn’t understand sign language, they can still understand the video because of the power and emotions in her. Music makes that connection and you can understand her. Some hearing people cried even if they didn’t understand the signing because they felt the connection. I think it’s great to show the importance of ASL, facial expressions, and language. I hope the video will inspire many kids, hearing or deaf, to create music videos. Don’t be afraid, express yourself, show what you have. 

Alex: I asked him if he had anything to add. 

Richard: Here is an important part — I want to thank my wife. Because Jennifer is the reason why. She invested her time. I usually work, then get home, and go back to work. She invested all of her time. She taught her how to spell, checks on school, discuss the lyrics, and ensures her well-being. I have to give her credit. I am so grateful to my wife. 

Thank you Savannah and Richard for your time. To watch the full video, the link is in the transcript.