Watch: Strictly Come Dancing: Rose Ayling-Ellis Talks About Making History as Deaf First Contestant
Rose Ayling Ellis leads the standings to win the Come dance strictly, with a series of tens perfect for his dances with his partner Giovanni Pernice.
But she also had a major impact in another way – because during her smash hit on prime-time television, the deaf actress inspired thousands to learn sign language.
BSL (British Sign Language) courses have seen demands increase by up to 2000% since Rose, who also plays Frankie in Eastenders, has joined the show, according to the director of a company that offers courses, while Google Trends also saw a massive spike in interest.
Read more: Craig Revel Horwood advises Rose Ayling-Ellis for ‘strictly’ final after perfect Argentine tango
Get updates on the latest news sent straight to your inbox
Russell Fowler, director of the BSL Courses website, told the BBC that every Saturday following the show there was a huge surge in registrations to learn the language that allows people who are deaf and hard of hearing to communicate fully.
“One Saturday we had over 1,000 and another time, 778,” he said.
“In August, we were averaging 20 to 30 registrations per day, but in November, we were receiving an average of 400.”
The British Deaf Association estimates that there are 151,000 BSL users in the UK, 87,000 of whom are deaf.
Many hearing people also learn movements in order to communicate with deaf people. Contrary to the assumption that these are only hand movements, BSL uses space and movement of the hands, body, face and head. However, BSL was not officially recognized as a language by the UK government until 2003.
Like any language, BSL has regional dialects and differences between countries, with “accents” including Mancunian and Scottish.
Rose’s enormous popularity on the show has changed the understanding of deafness. Before the start of the series, the 27-year-old actress said, “I hope that I will make the deaf community proud and break more barriers.
“But I’m also very excited to learn an amazing new skill.”
Although many did not understand how she could dance to music without hearing, Rose explained, “It is a common misconception that people who are deaf cannot enjoy music.
“I have a hearing aid, so I pick up some of the music and hear the beat.
“I can hear someone singing, but I can’t identify the exact words. I also feel the vibrations.
Throughout the series, she praised her dance partner Giovanni for his support and patience, and although she has a sign interpreter to help her with instructions, Giovanni has also learned sign language to communicate. as closely as possible with Rose.
Read more: Rose Ayling-Ellis strictly impresses judges with never-before-seen movement as she jointly tops the standings
Interviewed on Strictlysister’s show It takes two, Giovanni said: “We are now focusing on muscle memory more than music.
“Some people associate the movement … with the lyrics of the song, but unfortunately we can’t do it.
“It’s all about muscle memory. So in her brain there is still the counting, but always remember what she has to do and the technique. That’s enough [a lot] More difficult.”
Rose agreed, “That’s a lot … I’ve noticed that hearing people relies on music to help them remember what’s next, but I don’t have that.”
During the eighth week, the couple performed their Couple’s Choice dance, which included a dance in silence, in tribute to the deaf community.
Judge Anton Du Beke called the heartwarming streak “the greatest thing I’ve ever seen on the show,” and it won the 2021 Heat Unmissables Award for televised moment of the year.
BSL professor Jason Tennant is deaf and has always used sign language, he told the BBC this week,
“We’re getting inquiries for courses starting in September 2022. It’s crazy, as we usually start new courses in September or January, but that could change with all the new demand. “
He explained that most learners “get to the basics” within five months of class.
“You would be amazed at how much you already employ BSL on your own,” he added. “There are universal signs that we are already using in our everyday life.”
Thanks to Rose, Strictly viewers now know the sign of applause – waving open hands.
She will undoubtedly see a lot of them in the final on Saturday, to celebrate her incredible achievements.
Watch: Viewers Strictly Rent Rose and Giovanni’s ‘Breathtaking’ Elevator