Skip to main contentSkip to footer

When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission. Read our full commerce guidelines here.

Strictly's Rose Ayling-Ellis announces game-changing deafness news

Giovanni Pernice's dance partner was born deaf

rose ayling ellis
Bridie Wilkins
Senior Health & Fitness Writer
Share this:

Strictly Come Dancing star Rose Ayling-Ellis is the first deaf contestant to appear on the show, and her participation has already sparked big changes for the deaf community.

SEE: Rose Ayling-Ellis shares real reason for joining Strictly Come Dancing

Rose took to Twitter to share that there has been a huge surge in interest for sign language courses. "Hi everyone, thank you so much for all of your interest in learning BSL," she wrote. "I cannot believe the Google search for learning sign-language has increased by 488 per cent. AMAZING.

WATCH: Rose Ayling-Ellis talks about emotional moment she signed during Strictly dance

"Please look for a course which is taught by deaf tutors. Just be aware that BSL and Makaton are not the same. BSL is the language that deaf people use and Makataon is a communication tool."

She went on to share a link to the BSL courses she recommends.

MORE: Strictly's Giovanni Pernice and Rose Ayling-Ellis make Strictly history with performance

View post on Twitter

Several deaf charities and organisations have also revealed similar statistics. The British Sign Language Courses website told ITV News they have seen a 2,844 per cent increase in sign ups for their free trial training programmes the day after Rose's latest appearance.

giovanni pernice and rose ayling ellis sitting venni© Photo: HELLO!

Rose is partnered with Strictly pro Giovanni Pernice

They added that the average number of Free Trial enrolments they typically receive is between 20-30 per day, and on 31 October, there were 711.

Similarly, the National Deaf Children's Society shared that the charity's Learn BSL webpage had 675 views in August, but it shot up to 1,155 in September and 1,468 in October, while there was an increase of 193 per cent in traffic on the weekend that Rose incorporated sign language into her routine.

Rose, who is partnered with Strictly pro Giovanni Pernice, was born deaf. She has spoken out about her journey on Strictly without being able to hear in several interviews, including one with the BBC in which she explained how she dances without music.

sign language book

British Sign Language For Dummies, £14.56, Amazon


She said: "I’m not really relying on the music. I’m relying on counting and the beat. Giovanni is helping me with counting to make sure I get my count first, start[ing] at the most important beat, and then hopefully from onwards it’s okay."

Rose also uses spoken English and has an interpreter on set at all times – so she can understand everything that’s happening.

Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.

HELLO!'s selection is editorial and independently chosen – we only feature items our editors love and approve of. HELLO! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. To find out more visit our FAQ page.

More Health & Fitness

See more