Ellie Simmonds has sadly revealed that she was “already” trolled online after her first appearance on Strictly Come Dancing on Saturday night.
The 27-year-old Paralympic swimmer suffers from achondroplasia dwarfism, which causes a normal-sized torso and short limbs.
She had detailed her fears of being in the dance off and not getting votes before her Cha Cha Cha to Dance by DNCE.
And although she received compliments from all four judges and scored 26 points in her first week, she felt discouraged after seeing comments from trolls on social media.
Swimmer turned dancer: Ellie Simmonds has sadly revealed that she was “already” trolled online after her first appearance on Strictly Come Dancing on Saturday night
Ellie, who is 4ft tall, said she would like to do it again although she is nervous and has found the competition tough so far.
She was apprehensive about signing on to the show, particularly given the huge height difference between her and partner Nikita Kuzmin — and what keyboard warriors might have to say about it.
She told The Sun: “I already had it. Some people have said, “How will the dwarf dance?” It’s sad and it gets on your nerves.’
Ellie told the publication that she’s convinced she can take part in the show with the help of her boyfriend Matt, who also suffers from dwarfism.
Dancing the night away: The Paralympic swimmer, 27, had detailed her fears of being in the dance and not getting votes ahead of her Cha Cha Cha to Dance by DNCE
Ellie Simmonds also made Strictly history as the UK’s youngest Paralympian, competing at the Beijing 2008 Games aged just 13.
She is the first person with dwarfism to compete, with the athlete stating before her performance, “If I can do it, so can the audience.”
And Ellie certainly made her community proud when she and partner Nikita Kuzmin stepped out of their Strictly campaign with an amazing Cha Cha Cha to Dance by DNCE.
Partner: She was apprehensive about signing on for the show, particularly because of the huge size difference between her Nikita Kuzmin (left) — and what Keyboard might have to say about it
Saturday night fever: As the UK’s youngest Paralympian, Ellie Simmonds also made history as the first person with dwarfism to take part in the dance show
Anton shared his thoughts on their routine, saying, “You were powering across the floor and saying, ‘OK, let’s go, have some of that’. Your work side by side was great, your timing was excellent. It was good.’
Craig agreed with his co-star when he said: “I have to agree with Anton, the timing, your attitude, the rhythm, your isolation. It was excellent.’
While Motsi added: “I absolutely love this team. What I love is that focus, you get what the dance was about. Allow yourself to enjoy it even more. I loved it.’
Ellie recently opened up to MailOnline and other publications about starring on the show, explaining it will be an adjustment for both her and the pro she’s paired with.
She explained, “I asked my professional partner if he was ok with it because I’m short, but he said, ‘I want to dance with you, I want to try it.’
‘Its scary. Yes, I will be confident. I’m a woman anyway, I’m different. We all worry about our wobbly parts. I won’t be like every other celebrity with this partnership where you can hold each other.
Trolls: The 4-foot swimmer, who won five gold medals in three Paralympics (pictured with her gold for the 400m freestyle at the London 2012 Games), said she was bullied on Twitter by people who thought , her dwarfism meant she couldn’t dance
She says her crooked legs, smaller stride and shorter arms mean she needs to make adjustments, especially since her professional partner is much taller.
She will also have the challenge of wearing heels for the first time. She added: “This morning I wore them to brush my teeth. I usually never do that.
“I’ve been walking around the studio to make sure I can achieve things. They got me a smaller clothes rail. It’s things like that to make me feel good…
“My partner has never danced with a person with dwarfism before, so we didn’t know how we were going to hold ourselves, how we were going to do the moves… It’s so out of my comfort zone.”
She hopes her performance on Strictly, which premieres on BBC1 on Friday, will inspire others, saying: “People reached out to me, it was so touching. If I can do it, the audience will say, ‘We can do it too.’
“If I had that as a kid, to see someone with dwarfism in a dance show, it would have been incredible. I never thought I would get the opportunity. I’ve swum in front of millions of people, but dancing is different.”
Support: The star also noted that she had some tips from Little Woman: LA star Terra Jolé – who appeared on the 2016 season of Dancing With The Stars (Terra Jole on Dancing With The Stars).
The star also noted that she got some tips from Little Woman: LA star Terra Jolé, who appeared on the 2016 season of Dancing With The Stars.
“I saw Terra Jolé, a person with dwarfism, do it in the American version – Dancing with the Stars. I actually got in touch with her to ask her for tips – how will it be?
‘What are we going to do? How do we adapt? Watching her do it, I knew I could do it because I’ve never seen anyone with dwarfism dance.’
Terra Jolé has also shown public support for Ellie after it was announced she will be on the show, telling The Mail On Sunday: “Ellie will be amazing, it will test her stamina more than anything she did but I think she can make it to the final – I think she can win!’
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