Saturday night saw Rose Ayling-Ellis and her dance partner Giovanni Pernice crowned the winners of Strictly Come Dancing 2021.

Rose, the first d/Deaf contestant to participate on Striclty Come Dancing, danced her way in true style to lift the famous glitterball trophy. Following 12 weeks of gruelling dance instruction and incredible performances where the 27-year-old Eastenders actor wowed the audience, Rose succeeded in winning the popular dance show.

A front-runner from the outset Rose and Giovanni achieved a perfect score of 40 in week 6 with their impressive Tango performance – the earliest a perfect score has ever been given. Their performances every week have been a joy to watch and the affectionate relationship between the two performers has captured the nation’s heart.

Rose’s appearance on Strictly has undoubtedly increased awareness of the d/Deaf community and the different methods of communication that d/Deaf people use. The audience in the studio and at home were taught how to silently applause rather than clap to show their appreciation and the presence of an interpreter on the show was great to see.

Natalya Dell, who lives in South Birmingham and has been severely d/Deaf for all of her life, commented: “Rose Ayling-Ellis is an excellent role model for the d/Deaf community and I have enjoyed seeing people across different d/Deaf communities feel represented and understood through her skilful handling of her Strictly fame.”

“Rose uses a range of communication methods including British Sign Language (BSL), hearing aids, lip-reading, gesture and speech and she promotes a modern success story of bilingualism and biculturalism between both the d/Deaf signing and hearing worlds. Her unapologetic pride in her deafness really shows as she works hard to meet hearing people half way and makes them want to do their 50 per cent to meet her half way.”

The couple were praised for their couple’s choice dance which they performed in the final as well, featured 20 seconds of silence to represent what Rose hears when she is dancing. It was an exceptional moment that hopefully had a big impact on the hearing community.

Rose’s appearance on Strictly Come Dancing has  hopefully left a lasting effect on the nation. We hope it has increased the awareness of communication methods and encourages more people to learn how to communicate with members of the d/Deaf community.

Get your copy of PosAbility Magazine

Read more articles here