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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Charlotte Tutton

Strictly's Ellie and Nikita reveal how they've adapted Waltz after 'challenging week'

Strictly Come Dancing stars Ellie Simmonds and Nikita Kuzmin have faced a "challenging week" ahead of their second live performance.

The gold medallist Paralympian, 27, is the first star to take part in the BBC dancing show with achondroplasia, which is a form of short-limbed dwarfism.

Celebs and pros are usually paired together based largely on height, though Ellie and Nikita will have an immediate challenge on their hands due to their difference in stature - Ellie's 4ft to Nikita's 5'9.

This week, the pair are taking on the Waltz after getting good scores and feedback for their Week One performance, the Cha Cha Cha.

Speaking on It Takes Two, pro Nikita revealed how "challenging" it has been for them, but said they're getting there and doing well with the next dance.

Strictly Come Dancing stars Ellie Simmonds and Nikita Kuzmin have faced a "challenging week" (BBC)

Nikita told host Janette Manrara about the changes and considerations both he and Ellie have made to make the routine work, given their height difference.

He said: "It's a challenging week, let's not hide that."

Specifically on adaptions, he said: "We are trying to figure out the strides and how we can adapt things."

After seeing a clip from rehearsals, Nikita added: "Look at the footwork, I am really proud of the footwork, she’s doing great."

Strictly Come Dancing duo Ellie Simmonds and Nikita Kuzmin revealed how rehearsals were going (BBC)

Janette then asked: "There is a height difference between the two of you, so how are you adapting the routine to make it work for you guys?"

Nikita told her: "Especially today in rehearsals, the hold finally got into the perfect place, the head shape, the beautiful extensions.

"Of course in every step we have to think, how can we go around each other? Because the stride is slightly different so in every step we are very conscious about it.

"I have to let her pass, and she has to go around, it's changing the figures a little bit.

"The good thing is the technique is still the same, the technique is always there. The rise and fall, the heel and toe, it's still the same so we can rely on that, but it's had a lot of challenges."

Strictly Come Dancing's It Takes Two airs weeknights at 6:30pm on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer.

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