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Deaf applause: "What is Deaf Applause?"

Also see: "applause"

In the Deaf community applause typically takes the form of waving both hands in the air (using a twisting movement).

Deaf ASL Model: Maggie Mackey signing "Deaf Applause / Yay! / Hurray! / Bravo!"

A YouTube commenter asked:
"Why is deaf clapping different from normal clapping?"

A few thoughts regarding your question:
1.  What is normal for you is not necessarily normal for people of other cultures.
2.  The purpose of "applause" is to provide positive feedback indicating approval and encouragement.  It makes sense to provide such  feedback in a form appreciated by the receiver.
3.  The Deaf Community values sight and movement more than "sound*." 
4.  To a Deaf performer on stage, waving your hands in the air provides a very visual form of feedback -- much more visually satisfying than merely clapping.
5.  Because clapping is primarily intended to create "sound" clapping is considered to belong to and/or show affiliation with "the Hearing world."  As such, the clapping of hands is held in lower regard (in the Deaf Community) than the more visual "waving" of the hands that takes place during "Deaf applause.
6. An interesting version of applause that we often see in the Deaf World is "clapping of the hands held overhead."  Such an approach works well for mixed (Hearing and Deaf) performing troupes. We Deaf are able to see the clapping and the Hearing are able to both see and hear the clapping. Additionally you will see people wave there hands over their heads, clap a bit, and go back to waving -- thus causing a lot of both visual and sound-based feedback.

*While we Deaf are "people of the eye," there are a significant number of members of the extended Deaf community who "do" enjoy and value music. Such individuals typically tend toward being in the "hard of hearing" area of the "Deafhood" spectrum yet are still members of the Deaf Community and still do very much value visual access to information and visual-based communication.


YouTube link: "Deaf Applause"


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