Strictly: Bill Bailey says Rose Ayling-Ellis will win this year

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The EastEnders actress gained the support of pop sensation Ed Sheeran, after dancing the perfect tango to his number one track Shivers. On top of this, professional partner Giovanni Pernice dubbed the night as “one of the most rewarding moments of [his] career,” describing Rose as an “inspiration”. The star has wowed the judges with her ability to learn technically hard dances through the use of muscle memory. Ditching the traditional teaching methods, both her and partner Giovanni rely more on muscle memory.

Speaking to the Independent Giovanni said: “We just now focus on the muscle memory more than relate it to the music.

“Some people connect movement…to [the] lyric of the song, but unfortunately we can’t do that.

“It’s all about muscle memory. So in her brain there is still counting, but still remember what she has to do and the technique. It’s quite [a lot] more difficult.”

Rose added that those who are not affected by hearing loss, tend to rely on the music to remember the next step, but she doesn’t have that luxury.

Speaking on BBCs It Takes Two, Rose said: “It’s quite a lot but I noticed that hearing people rely on the music to help them remember what’s next, but I don’t have that.”

When first joining the cast of the dance competition, many were concerned that she might be at a disadvantage due to not being able to follow the live band, but Rose revealed at the time that that was precisely her motivation for doing the show in the first place.

Speaking to the BBC, Rose felt her participation on the show will be an opportunity to challenge assumptions about deaf people and music.

“A lot of people think that deaf people can’t hear the music, enjoy the music, and enjoy dancing, so I thought it would be a good platform for me to break that stereotype,” she said.

“It’s a common misconception that deaf people can’t enjoy music. I have a hearing aid, so I pick up some of the music and I can hear the beat. I can hear someone singing, but I can’t identify exact words. I can also feel the vibrations.”

The star’s participation in the show has also had a desired effect on viewers, as The British Sign Language (BSL) Courses website had seen a 2,844 percent increase in signups for their free trial training programmes the day after Ayling-Ellis’ latest appearance on Saturday.

The Institute of British Sign Language told ITV News that the fact Rose and Giovanni had been communicating with sign language, had “without doubt, inspired people to enquire about studying the language.”

Rose uses a mixture of oral English and BSL to communicate, but is also helped by a translator, who interprets what others – especially the judges – are saying.

The star also wears a hearing aid, which improves her ability to hear speech and also everyday sounds like a doorbell and phone.

What causes hearing loss?

The NHS explains that hearing loss can be temporary or permanent and often comes on gradually when you get older. However, Rose has been deaf since she was a child.

Hearing loss can have multiple different causes, depending on how severe it is. For example sudden hearing loss in one ear may be due to earwax, an ear infection, or a perforated (burst) eardrum, whereas gradual hearing loss in one ear may be due to something inside the ear, such as fluid (glue ear), a bony growth (otosclerosis) or a build-up of skin cells (cholesteatoma).

Sudden hearing loss in both ears is usually due to damage from a very loud noise, or taking certain medication that has severe side-effects.

The Mayo Clinic explains that individuals lose hearing, or are born deaf, because nerve cells in the cochlea (inner ear), that usually sends signals to the brain to turn into sound, are damaged. Attached to nerve cells in the cochlea are thousands of tiny hairs that help translate sound vibrations into electrical signals, and when these are damaged or missing electrical impulses are not transmitted as efficiently and thus hearing loss occurs.

Although it is hard to tell if you are losing your hearing, the NHS provides common signs. These include:

  • Difficulty hearing other people clearly, and misunderstanding what they say, especially in noisy places
  • Asking people to repeat themselves
  • Listening to music or watching television loudly
  • Having to concentrate hard to hear what other people are saying, which can be tiring or stressful.

Luckily, if you do find yourself experiencing symptoms of hearing loss, there are multiple treatments and procedures that can help. This includes getting earwax sucked out, using hearing aids or implants and using sign language or lip reading.

Hearing Dogs provide seven top tips to keep in mind when communicating with deaf people:

  1. Always face a deaf person. Make eye contact and keep it while you are talking. Try not to look away or cover your mouth as many deaf people rely on lip reading to help them understand you.
  2. Check noise and lighting. Turn off or move away from background noise. Make sure your face is not in shadow and there are no strong lights or sunshine in their eyes.
  3. Keep your distance. Stand a metre or two away from the deaf person. This is important for hearing-aid users, lip-readers and signers.
  4. Speak clearly, slowly and steadily. Don’t mumble, shout or exaggerate – it distorts your lip patterns.
  5. Take turns. If there is more than one person in a conversation, take turns to talk.
  6. Repeat and re-phrase if necessary. Trying to say the same thing in a different way might help.
  7. Write it down. Don’t be afraid to write or draw to help understanding.

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