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Strictly’s Giovanni on impact of silent dance with Rose-Ayling Ellis

Strictly Come Dancing professional Giovanni Pernice has said the reaction to the silent moment in his routine with Rose Ayling-Ellis on the dancing show has been bigger than they had anticipated.

EastEnders actress Ayling-Ellis, 27, became the first deaf contestant to win Strictly alongside professional dance partner Pernice last year, and their routine – during which they paused the music and danced in silence as a tribute to the deaf community – is among six nominees for Virgin Media’s Must-See Moment Award at the upcoming Bafta TV ceremony.

The award, which is the only one voted for by the public, celebrates the diversity of British TV and the moments that got our nation talking, tweeting and laughing in 2021.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Pernice said: “The feeling in the room was just outstanding, it was more than just a dance, it was more than just 16 seconds of silence.

“For us it was more, show what Rose feels every single week and I think since we did that moment, I think people realised how difficult it was for Rose dancing and… so it was very special.”

Asked about the impact of their dance, he told Dan Walker and Sally Nugent: “I knew it was going to be an important dance for Rose, for the deaf community, but the reaction has been bigger than what we thought.”

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