Strictly Come Dancing deaf contestant Rose Ayling-Ellis cannot train properly when it rains because the drops interfere with the vibrations in her chest.
The EastEnders actress has been wowing viewers with her incredible routines with Giovanni Pernice, despite the fact she cannot hear the music she is dancing to.
The pair created one of the most memorable moments in Strictly history when they danced to a silent moment for 10 seconds to Symphony by Clean Bandit.
Strictly host Claudia Winkleman has now shared some of the unique behind-the-scenes challenges Rose, 27, faces on a weekly basis including the way that she cannot rehearse her routines if the weather is wet outside, due her reliance on feeling the music.
Claudia said: “Rose is fantastic … What I love about Rose is that she’s properly funny. I hope that comes across. And she’s a fabulous dancer. The fact that she’s deaf comes way down the list of the extraordinariness of the charm of Rose.
“But it’s really interesting to find things out. For example, she finds it difficult to train when it’s really raining because it messes with the vibrations in her chest. I said, ‘What do they do in schools? What do people do at work?’ I had no idea. The way that in the beginning she would always have to see Gio’s face but now she can dance without seeing his face. She’s incredible.”
The 49-year-old presenter also revealed that she has learned some sign language so can communicate more effectively with Rose, including learning how to criticize the judges if they give her negative feedback.
She said: “We have all done awareness courses, I’m trying to learn as much sign language as possible – not necessarily to do on screen, but for when I’m communicating with her off air. The first thing I wanted to learn – although I haven’t had to use it yet – was how to say, ‘The judges are horrid.’”
This year’s Strictly also features the first all-male couple in former Great British Bake Off winner John Whaite and pro dancer Johannes Radebe.
Claudia – who hosts the ballroom show with Tess Daly – insists that the coupling and Rose’s participation just shows how much the Strictly team is doing to ensure groups in British society are represented on the show.
She told The Big Issue magazine: “Strictly decided a while ago to try and widen who was doing it. Because representation is everything.
“John and Johannes are phenomenal. And he is mesmerised by dance, that boy. He will continue to dance. Strictly has been the beginning of the journey but this is not where it ends.
“So, do I think it is important that it happened? Yes. Am I proud to work on such a show? Absolutely. Do I hope representation will continue in every are of telly, or radio, or whatever we do? Yes. It just feels now that’s just how it is. And it has to be.”
Strictly Come Dancing continues Saturday night on BBC One
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