Talking in motion

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I absolutely love to dance whether that’s in my kitchen or Para Dance UK national championships.

I find for me there are two aspects to dance, learning the moves and timing, and then dancing with your heart, adding the feel of emotion and expression to the dance.  This applies to any style of dance whether that’s ballroom, ballet, or tap.  Personally, I believe that it is a great way of expression because sometimes due to disability can be restricted and limited.

It has physical benefits and mental benefits to exercise and enjoyment and acceptance and sharing the joy you have inside you with your dance partner and the audience.

I love to watch the way other dancers interpret the emotion in dance, especially when it comes to the latest series of Strictly Come Dancing.  The partnering of professional dancers with celebrities highlights the different interpretations and emotions.

In this series, I am interested to see the participation of Rose Ayling-Ellis, the first deaf dance competitor.  Rose explains how she can follow the rhythm of the music and dance.  Strictly Come Dancing: How Rose Ayling-Ellis will hear the music – BBC News.  Rose is also known for her current role as Frankie Lewis in BBC soap EastEnders.

While this is a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness of broader disabilities I wonder if this is a simple ‘box ticking’ exercise by the BBC, or a genuine desire to represent a broader society?

The involvement of Rose has stimulated the BBC to include a sign language interpreter to enable her in the program.  However, the sign language interpreter is often off-screen and is principally there to enable Rose, rather than being available for the viewer.

I wonder if this should be more commonplace on television, and not just included because a deaf performer is involved?

By Katie Goodwin

National Representative