Giovanni Pernice and Rose Ayling-Ellis have become one of Strictly Come Dancing’s most loved partnerships.
Viewers love watching their dances each weekend, but also seeing how their friendship has blossomed.
Speaking to Radio Times, pro dancer Giovanni – who’s appeared on Strictly for seven years – shares how he’s a ‘different person’ since coupling up with the EastEnders star for the show.
‘People on social media think that I’ve changed, that I’m a different person.
‘I don’t know, I feel that with Rose, I have a person I can talk to, and she can listen to me, and give me positivity. And that’s what I need.’
He asked to be partnered with Rose without having met her, saying: ‘She was the one I wanted to dance with from the beginning.’
And the feeling is very much mutual, as 27-year-old Rose asked to be paired with Italian dancer Giovanni, 31, before the show began.
‘I had a gut feeling you were going to be a good partner for me,’ Rose tells Giovanni as they take a break from rehearsals.
‘Because in the deaf community, we’re really, really expressive. We are very direct. And you’re direct.
‘Also, you’ve got a record of being in the final so many times, and of turning a bad dancer into a good dancer, which you’ve done with me,’ she laughs.
Rose also reveals how she dances to music that she cannot hear, explaining that it is not by feeling vibrations.
She says some deaf people feel vibrations and some don’t, but she has ‘too many things going on in her head’ to think about vibrations.
Instead, she ‘keeps it simple’ and watches Giovanni while counting a lot.
Giovanni himself says he’s had to learn, as having a profoundly deaf partner meant his method and style of coaching needed to adapt.
He said their partnership has ‘changed completely the way he teaches and how he makes the choreography.’
He says it’s ‘a different world’ but he is ‘glad’ to be discovering it.
Giovanni admits that week one was ‘a little bit more difficult’ but now he knows ‘exactly’ what to do and he’s ‘very, very proud’ of what the two have accomplished this year.
Rose and Giovanni have become firm favourites after wowing Strictly fans with their powerful performances.
Their contemporary couple’s choice routine, featuring a deeply affecting sequence when the music fell silent, bringing the deaf actor’s experience into sharp focus, was one of the highlights of this series – described by Anton Du Beke, who has been on Strictly since the very beginning, as ‘the greatest thing I have ever seen on the show.’
Rose says Giovanni has taught her ‘how to stay focused, and how to control the nerves. And also not to take things so seriously.’
He adds: ‘What I’ve learnt from Rose is that you can be positive and happy every day, really. She comes to the studio, and if it’s a difficult dance or if it’s an easy dance, she’s positive.’
He says Rose encourages him to ‘relax,’ no matter what is going on in his own life.
However, relaxing can’t be easy with such a frantic schedule.
On a typical Saturday, Rose gets to the studio at around 8am, spending two hours in hair and make-up before running through their dance, putting on costumes and doing a dress run before finally the live show begins.
It’s clear Rose is relishing every moment, as she says she’s ‘loving’ the Strictly journey and how much she’s learning.
‘I’m becoming stronger. I love learning new things, and even when it’s really tough, I still want to dance,’ she says.
Strictly Come Dancing continues tonight at 6:55pm on BBC One.
Credit: Original article published here.