Strictly’s Ellie Simmonds says she refuses to let trolls ‘bring her down’
‘You attach yourself to one negative comment’: Strictly Ellie Simmonds says she refuses to be ‘brought down’ by trolls after becoming the show’s first star with dwarfism
Ellie Simmonds has said she refuses to let heartless trolls “bring her down” while pledging to continue to “inspire” others while she competed on Strictly Come Dancing.
The 27-year-old Olympic star, the first ever contestant with dwarfism, admitted she is completely ‘out of her comfort zone’ by dancing to the BBC show every week.
Ellie said she felt deflated after being trolled by social media users, but told BBC Radio 4’s Women Hour she hopes she inspires others with dwarfism.
‘You cling to that one negative comment’: Ellie Simmonds has said she refuses to let heartless trolls ‘bring her down’ while competing on Strictly Come Dancing
She said, ‘You get attached to that one negative comment, it sticks with you and it can bring you down, but you try to take yourself away.
“I’m doing it for myself and I’m so proud and for all the individuals with dwarfism.
“Not only do I have people from the UK but worldwide contacting me and that means so much.”
‘I’m so proud’: 27-year-old Olympic star, first ever contestant with dwarfism, admitted she’s completely ‘out of her comfort zone’ by dancing to the BBC show every week
Ellie, who retired from competitive sports last year, previously revealed that she was sadly trolled after her first appearance on the primetime BBC show.
The contestant, who is five feet tall, told host Emma Barnett: “I’m way out of my comfort zone and it’s completely different from what I’m used to.
“I’ve got glitter, makeup in my hair, fake tan, and my hotel sheets are turning orange!”
‘It’s totally different from what I’m used to’: Ellie said she felt deflated after being trolled by users, but told BBC Radio 4’s Women Hour she hopes she inspires others with dwarfism
Ellie has crossed boundaries by being the first person with dwarfism to sign on to the hit show and team up with professional Nikita Kuzmin.
She continued: “It’s been different, you’re put in the spotlight, everyone recognizes you from Strict.”
Ellie said she had been verbally assaulted, adding: “It’s comments like ‘why is she dancing’, ‘how can she dance’. But I’m just trying to think about the positive comments.
‘It makes you more motivated’: Ellie, who retired from competitive sport last year, previously revealed that she was sadly trolled after her first appearance on the primetime BBC show
“The amount of support we’ve had from me and Nikita throughout the journey, the outpouring of love and support, has been amazing.”
Ellie is shocked at how “powerful” the show is for the number of people watching and is “grateful and honored that the world is accepting change.”
The swimmer, who has been praised by judges, celebrities and professional dancers, continued: “You don’t just do it for yourself, but also for other people and it makes you more motivated.
“It was a new opportunity. When I was asked to do it, why say no, just go for it. I love dancing. There are always fears and self-doubt when learning something new.
‘Strictly is a powerful’: She said: If I had seen someone like me dance on TV when I was growing up, it would have meant everything
‘We are people. A few bits last Saturday I totally screwed up and didn’t do it, but I give myself credit, I’m learning a new dance. It’s unnerving, but the joy of the show outweighs all that.
“It’s so exciting and incredible to be a part of it. If I had seen someone like me dance on TV growing up, it would have meant everything.
Strictly is a powerful TV show and accepts that people are different. It is unbelievable.’
Ellie revealed that the BBC show was really ‘supportive’ and allowed her to feel ‘accepted’ after they gave her a railing that’s ‘short so I don’t have to climb all over’
On this week’s show, the former swimmer will perform a sexy Salsa that she said is “all about sass and hips and having the time of her life.”
Strictly Come Dancing continues Saturday at 6:30pm on BBC One and iPlayer.
‘It’s unbelievable’: Ellie is shocked at how ‘powerful’ the show is for the number of people watching and is ‘grateful and honored that the world is accepting change’