Strictly: Rose Ayling-Ellis says she’s ‘terrified’
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Rose Ayling-Ellis, who is best known for playing Frankie Lewis in EastEnders has made history as the first deaf person to compete in Strictly Come Dancing. During the launch night the star was paired up with professional dancer Giovanni Pernice, however, she confessed she was terrified about learning the Jive with him.
Strictly come dancing fans tuned in to see which professional ballroom dancers this year’s celebrity contestants would be paired up with.
The excited star replied: “I am so happy – I feel like he is very open to teach me in a different way to how he would normally teach.”
Claudia agreed and explained to viewers Rose’s interpreter was on the show, and would be supporting her throughout her time in the competition.
The actress has been deaf since she was a child and uses a combination of oral English and British Sign Language (BSL) to communicate.
When acting, she often uses Sign Supported English (SSE) which is a type of sign language that follows the structure of the spoken and reading English language.
Claudia asked Rose: “People will be curious as to how you hear and feel the music – can you tell us about that?”
Rose explained: “Every deaf person experiences music differently, so the way I do it, I have to rely a lot on the beat and the count.
“I think we have to be creative and fan our way around it.”
A supportive Giovanni added: “I think it is all about muscle memory as you have to learn the beat constantly. We will be absolutely fine, we will find a way.”
Rosie backed Giovanni and told Claudia “there is always a way” to learn something new.
The host asked if Rose wanted to find out what her first dance with Giovanni would be.
Giovanni explained to Rose that their first dance in front of a live audience will be the Jive.
Rose’s eyes lit up before telling Claudia and her dancer partner: “I am terrified but I am happy.”
Ahead of Saturday night’s pre-launch show, stand up comedian and presenter Judi Love and EastEnders’ actress Nina Wadia were both the favourites to be booted off the show first.
Ladbrokes put both their odds at being eliminated first at 25/1 with actor Greg Wise and Dragons’ Den boss Sara Davies just behind at 20/1.
Sam Rosbottom, a Betfair spokesperson, said: “Tom Fletcher is the 4/1 favourite to waltz his way to the Glitterball trophy, while Rose Ayling-Ellis (11/2) and Rhys Stephenson (6/1) are close on his heels.
“Adam Peaty is 10/1 to follow up Olympic Gold with the Stricly crown, while Robert Webb is 8/1 and AJ Odudu 10/1.”
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