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About Rose Ayling-Ellis

Rose Ayling-Ellis (born 17 November 1994) is a British actress born in Kent. She was born Deaf* and uses British Sign Language fluently and spoken English to communicate with others. She has spoken openly about how exciting it is to raise awareness about the D/deaf* community through her roles and has received warm encouragement and praise for being a positive role model in the D/deaf community. 


Rose first discovered her love of acting while taking part in a filming weekend organised by the National Deaf Children’s Society, a charity that supports D/deaf children and their families to learn good communication skills. After her first introduction to acting, Rose joined the Deafinitely Youth Theatre, an organisation providing teenagers and young adults, who are D/deaf, with opportunities to act and learn about the theatre world. From here, Rose performed on stage in plays such as ‘Mother Courage’ and ‘Faith, Hope and Charity’. She came into the public eye with her television debut on the BBC medical drama, ‘Casualty’ in 2017 and later joined the cast of Eastenders, playing the role of Frankie Lewis  


Ayling-Ellis took part in the nineteenth season of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing in 2021 and later went on to win the competition. She was the show’s first deaf contestant and when it was announced that she would be taking part, many fans were curious as to how she would be able to follow the music. However, during the show Rose explained that she could feel the vibrations of the music through the dancefloor and also counted in her head to ensure she moved to the beat. During her time on the show, she wowed viewers with her expressive dancing, moved them with an emotional, silent tribute to the D/deaf community during her Couple's Choice dance routine and even incorporated British Sign Language (BSL) into their dance routines. Since appearing on the show the number of people learning BSL rose exponentially.  


Rose is celebrated within the d/Deaf community for smashing stereotypes, breaking barriers and inspiring those with disabilities. We would love Ayling-Ellis class to be inspired by their namesake by embracing their identity and individuality, standing up for what they believe in and understanding that nothing is impossible. 


*d/Deaf – deaf with a lowercase d indicates that a person has a significant hearing impairment whilst a person who is Deaf with an uppercase D is culturally Deaf (meaning they were born into the Deaf community and their first native language is signed and not spoken).