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Rose Ayling-Ellis won't be relying on music for Strictly Come Dancing routines

·1-min read

Deaf actress Rose Ayling-Ellis will be focusing on the counts rather than the music when she competes on Strictly Come Dancing.

The actress, who plays Frankie Lewis in EastEnders, is the show's first deaf contestant, and she was partnered with professional dancer Giovanni Pernice on last week's launch show.

Taking BBC News behind the scenes of their rehearsals, Rose revealed that she would be dancing to the beat and the counts rather than the music.

"I'm not really relying on the music, I'm relying on counting and the beat," she explained. "Giovanni is helping me with counting to make sure I get my count first, started at the most important beat, and then hopefully from onwards it's okay."

She will also have an interpreter with her throughout the series so she can understand what is going on at all times.

"If you provide me my access then I'll do my job the same as everyone else's," she shared. "I like to try to do better because I like to prove people's expectations of me is wrong."

Giovanni added that "people will be very surprised" at how well Rose can dance, and admitted having a deaf partner was a big challenge but it made him feel "more connected" to his celebrity.

Rose will be competing against the likes of actor Greg Wise, McFly musician Tom Fletcher, comedian Robert Webb, and The Great British Bake Off star John Whaite on this series, which will begin in earnest on Saturday.

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