‘If I can do it, people watching can too’: Ellie Simmonds explains she hopes to inspire the dwarfism community during her time on Strictly – and reveals 4ft2 US reality star Terra Jolé has given her some tips
Ellie Simmonds has explained her hope to inspire others during her upcoming stint on Strictly Come Dancing, aiming to give more representtion for the dwarfism community.
The Paralympian, 27, is set to take part in the show as it’s first ever dwarf contestant – sharing ‘If I can do it, people watching can too.’
And lookng for some tips and tricks, the sportswoman has also admitted to reaching out to US reality star Terra Jolé – who appeared on the US version of the dancing competition, Dancing With The Stars.
‘If I can do it, people watching can too’: Ellie Simmonds explains she hopes to inspire the dwarfism community during her time on Strictly Come Dancing
Chatting to presenters Naga Munchetty and Charlie Stayt on Friday morning’s BBC Breakfast, Ellie explained her reasonings for joining the show.
She shared: ‘It’s all different and out of my comfort zone. But I’ve realised if I can do it in a different way, people watching can realise that they can dance and even it’s not a traditional way, it’s different.
While host Charlie questioned: ‘The programme does have a track record now of people going on with disabilities and dispelling myths, is that part of your driver?’
Paving the way: The Paralympian is set to take part in the show as it’s first ever dwarf contestant – sharing ‘If I can do it, people watching can too’
Daytime appearance: Chatting to presenters Naga Munchetty and Charlie Stayt on Friday morning’s BBC Breakfast, Ellie explained her reasonings for joining the show
Agreeing, Ellie continued: ‘Yeah definitely, you’ve seen in the past the likes of Rose [Ayling-Ellis} last year, JJ [Chalmers], Jonnie [Peacock], Lauren [Steadman] – some incredible people.
‘Strictly Come Dancing is paving that way for people being different on TV and it’s amazing.’
The star also noted that she’s had some tips from Little Woman: LA star Terra Jolé – who appeared on the 2016 season of Dancing With The Stars.
She shared: ‘It’s all different and out of my comfort zone. But I’ve realised if I can do it in a different way, people watching can realise that they can dance and even it’s not a traditional way, it’s different
Celebrating difference: ‘Strictly Come Dancing is paving that way for people being different on TV and it’s amazing,’ continued Ellie
‘I saw Terra Jolé, who is an individual with dwarfism, do it on the American version – Dancing with the stars. I actually got in contact with her to ask for any tips – how isit going to be?
‘What are we going to do? How do we adapt? Seeing her do it made me know that I can do it because I’fnever seen anyone with dwarfism dance before.’
Terra Jolé has also showed public support for Ellie following the news she will be on the show, telling The Mail On Sunday: ‘Ellie is going to be amazing, it will test her endurance more than anything else she has done, but I think she can make the final – I think she can win!’
Support: The star also noted that she’s had some tips from Little Woman: LA star Terra Jolé – who appeared on the 2016 season of Dancing With The Stars (Terra Jole on Dancing With The Stars)
Ellie recently opened up to MailOnline and other publications about starring in the show, detailing that it will be an adjustment for both her and the professional she is paired with.
The paralympian explained: ‘Dancing with a person of shorter stature is obviously new for the professionals too and then I’m completely new at dancing so it’s about seeing how we’ll see how we can adapt it and learning for me and my partner – it’s like where do you put your hands and things like that.’
Strictly Come Dancing will launch on Friday 23 September with a pre-recorded show, with the live shows kicking off just one day later.
The competition was postponed following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8, with it’s September 17 launch date pushed back by a week to allow the UK to mourn Her Majesty and pay their respects.
STRICTLY COME DANCING 2022: WHO ARE THE CONTESTANTS?
Profession: Coronation Street star and presenter
Kym says: ‘I’m so delighted that this year they have! I’m a huge fan of the show and can’t believe I’m going to go from watching at home in my pyjamas to actually dancing in front of the judges in a glittery dress.’
Profession: Radio presenter
Richie says: ‘This is a dream come true! I cannot wait to get in those sparkles and sequins and shimmy across the most famous dance floor in the world!’
Profession: Former athlete
Ellie says: ‘To be asked to be part of the Strictly family is just so exciting and I cannot wait, it’s going to so much fun.’
Profession: Radio DJ
Tyler says: ‘It’s a show that means so much to me and my family and I can’t wait to seriously shake a leg on that shiny dance floor… with a side of sequins.’
Ellie says: ‘Well, cover me in fake tan and roll me in sequins! I’m absolutely over the moon to be a part of Strictly 2022!’
TONY ADAMS MBE
Profession: Retired footballer and manager
Tony says: ‘To say I’m excited is an understatement – the lure of the sequins and the call of the salsa has me swapping my battered old football boots for a set of Strictly soft shoes’
Profession: EastEnders actor
James says ‘I’m not known for my shimmy or my twinkle toes – in fact my kids regularly laugh at my dad dancing but it’s an honour to be asked and I’m going to give it my best shot.’
Profession: TV and radio broadcaster
Helen says: ‘I’m really excited to get stuck into a fun adventure. My family and friends have always loved the show and can’t wait for me to get started’
Will says: ‘I know it will be a huge challenge but that’s what life is all about. This is also my Mum’s favourite show and she’s had a really tough few years so I’m doing this is for her as well. Bring it on!’
Profession: Television presenter
Kaye says: ‘I said I wanted to make the last year of my fifties memorable and i can’t think of a better way of doing it than showing the world my two left feet. Pray for me!’
Jayde says: ‘I’ve been a massive fan of the show for years. I feel like I’m watching myself in a dream and I can’t believe I’ve manifested this.’
Matt says: ‘I’ve been reclusive, I come and work and then go back to America. I thought, it’s time for me to come home and get out of my own way’
Molly says: ‘I already know it’s gonna be an experience of a lifetime and I can’t wait to meet the rest of the Strictly family I’ll be sharing it with.’
Fleur says: ‘I’m equally nervous and thrilled to be part of this year’s Strictly line up. I’m excited to learn new skills and I want to soak up every moment of this magical experience.’
Profession: Wildlife cameraman and presenter
Hamza says: ‘I am absolutely over the moon to be joining Strictly 2022. Never in a million years did I think I’d be on such a cool show.’