EXCLUSIVE: Strictly’s first deaf star Rose Ayling-Ellis will learn to dance by ‘feeling the vibrations’ and ‘reading her partner’s body language’ after admitting she can barely hear music
Strictly Come Dancing’s first deaf star Rose Ayling-Ellis will learn the show’s routines by ‘feeling the vibrations’ and ‘reading her partner’s body language’ – after admitting she can barely hear music.
The EastEnders actor, 26, who plays Danny Dyer’s on-screen daughter Frankie Lewis in the BBC soap, told MailOnline while she enjoys listening to music, she can’t identify lyrics so, will rely on the beat and counting in her head to master timings.
Rose explained it’s a ‘common misconception’ that people who are deaf can’t have a relationship with music, and she hopes to break down the stereotype during her time on the popular dance competition.
Focussed: Strictly Come Dancing’s first deaf star Rose Ayling-Ellis will learn the show’s routines by ‘feeling the vibrations’ and ‘reading her partner’s body language’
Ahead of the show’s launch on September 18, Rose said: ‘To be the first deaf person on Strictly, I feel it will be a good chance to break the stereotype of what deaf people can and can’t do.
‘A lot of people think being deaf means you can’t hear the music and enjoy dancing. I thought it would be a good platform for me to break that stereotype.
‘It is a common misconception that deaf people can’t enjoy music. I have a hearing aid so; I pick up some of the music and I can hear the beat. I can hear someone singing, but I can’t identify exact words. I also feel the vibrations.
‘I will be focusing on reading my partner’s body language plus counting in my head, which will help me with timing.
‘I can’t identify exact words’: The EastEnders actor explained while she enjoys listening to music, she can’t identify lyrics so, will rely on the beat and counting to master timings
‘So, for me it’s a combination of everything however, not all deaf people are the same, every deaf person will have their own unique experience with music. I do love music and I can’t wait to be taught how to dance at a professional level for Strictly.’
Rose, who also broke new ground last year when she became the first deaf actor to play a deaf character on EastEnders, hopes her successful TV career proves more people from the community should be hired in entertainment.
She said: ‘The deaf community are really excited and they just hope a lot of good will come out of that will improve the experiences of deaf people.
‘They hope a lot of positives and people’s attitudes will change so then deaf people will have better experiences, get more jobs and hire more deaf people and get them involved in the industry, and for them to become more included.’
‘So excited’: The soap star, who plays Danny Dyer’s on-screen daughter, said he was the first person she told on set of EastEnders and he’s ‘incredibly proud’ of her achievements
Rose has a close working relationship with the Carter family, which includes actor Danny Dyer, 44, and former Strictly contestant Kellie Bright, 45, who play Mick and Linda, and their on-screen daughter Nancy, portrayed by Maddy Hill, 31.
She said: ‘I told Danny first, and he was really, really incredibly proud. Then I told Maddy and Kelly, they’re all so, so excited for me. I hope they will come and support me.
‘I’ve had advice from Natalie Cassidy who plays Sonia, she said always be comfortable in what you wear, Emma Barton, who plays Honey, she told me to be myself and who I am and if I’m shy or being awkward, just be myself.
‘Kellie was really, really good on the show, she was incredible, and I bet a lot of people didn’t expect that from her.’
- Strictly Come Dancing returns on Saturday 18th September on BBC One