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Wales Online
Wales Online
Eve Rowlands

The lovely moment that shows why Ellie Simmonds appearing on Strictly Come Dancing is so important

Paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds, 27, has become another history-making contestant on the much-loved and glittering BBC dance show Strictly Come Dancing.

The show's first celebrity dancer with dwarfism wowed the viewers and judges with her and her partner, Nikita Kuzmin's, performance of the cha-cha, earning an impressive score of 26 out of 40 as Strictly Come Dancing, series 20, premiered on Saturday, September 24.

And while the performance many of the comments flying across social media was that of praise at how amazing her performance was, one in particular has stolen the heart of people all over the country. On Twitter, user Cathy Reay - @cathyreaywrites - shared the heartwarming moment her daughter reacted to seeing someone else with dwarfism dance on the popular BBC show.

Read more: Will Mellor and Hamza Yassin joint top of Strictly leaderboard in week one

Cathy, a writer who specialises in disability justice, single motherhood, sex and dating - as stated on her Twitter biography - and also has dwarfism, wrote: "When @EllieSimmonds1 said “I have dwarfism” on @bbcstrictly my daughter screamed excitedly “I have dwarfism too!!!” and I swear if you tell me again that representation doesn’t matter I-"

The tweet, since it was posted on Friday, September 23, during the launch show, has amassed a whopping 18.6k likes and nearly 1000 retweets.

Simmonds' supporters were quickly to comment on the tweet, with some likening the inspiration of the Paralympic swimmer to that of Rose Ayling-Ellis, who last year became Strictly's first deaf contestant - and champion.

User @jimjams79 replied to Cathy's tweet, saying: "I love this - my daughter is deaf so we had the same last year with @RoseAylingEllis".

While another user,@JoanneD94270229 wrote: "Fantastic! I love Ellie Simmonds. She is amazing and such a lovely person, brilliant role model. Really hope your daughter enjoys watching her on strictly and feels inspired. Come on Ellie!"

Upon finishing her dance with Nikita, Ellie took to her own social media to thank people who have showered her with messages of support.

She wrote: "I can’t thank everyone enough for all the messages and words of support. I’ve been reading them all and I’m completely overwhelmed. It means the absolute world. I’m having the best time and I can’t explain how appreciated the kind messages are. Here’s to next week! Eek!" Before saying she can't wait to do it all over again.

It comes after a handful of "nasty comments" were posted on various social media platforms during and after the show, which said that Ellie's dance was "awkward" to watch because of the height difference between Ellie and Nikita. Some even went as far to to suggest she might be given "sympathy votes". These comments were quickly defended by a myriad of fans of the swimmer and her dance. Read more on that here.


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