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Wales Online
Wales Online
Kathryn Williams

BBC Strictly's Ellie Simmonds' pride at representing dwarfism and adapting to dazzle on the dancefloor

Paralympic gold medalist Ellie Simmonds has spoken about her upcoming stint on Strictly Come Dancing and what it means to her to represent those in the dwarfism community, and beyond. Appearing on the launch show on Friday, September 23, for the 20th series of Strictly, Ellie, who spent much of her teenage years training in Swansea, was asked by host, Tess Daly, how she felt about joining the line-up.

Ellie said: "It means everything, to represent not just dwarfism but disability in general, for me to go out of my comfort zone and do something that I’ve never done before. Dancing is for all, yes, I’m going to have to adapt, I’m going to have to see what it’s like, but to be out there every Saturday night dancing… I’m so so proud.” After being paired with her partner on-screen, Nikita Kuzman, he shared his ambitions: “For me, the goal for this season is for Ellie to have the best time of her life!”

Read more: Anton Du Beke gets 'dance envy' watching Strictly pros but says judging is 'easier on the knees'

Five-time gold medalist Ellie has spoken before about the height difference, explaining to BBC Breakfast it was going to be "different" and it was all about "figuring it all out". She said: "My partner is tall and I am small, I've never danced and they've never danced with an individual with dwarfism before so it's going to be different," she said.

"We're not going to hold each other in the same postures that everyone else does and it's figuring it all out."

Tonight sees the delayed launch show, which was due to air on September 17, but was pushed back due to the death of the Queen.

Strictly Come Dancing continues tomorrow at 6.45pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.


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