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Star of the American ‘Strictly’ tells 4ft Paralympian Ellie Simmonds ‘win it for us little people’

Star of the American ‘Strictly’ tells 4ft Paralympian Ellie Simmonds to ‘win it for us little people’

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She may only be six feet tall, but Paralympic Ellie Simmonds has been tipped to stand head and shoulders above the competition and win this year’s Strictly Come Dancing.

American reality star Terra Jole, who also has dwarfism and is six feet tall, told The Mail on Sunday how she overcame her handicap to reach the semifinals of Dancing With The Stars, the American version of Strictly, in 2016.

And she believes swimmer Miss Simmonds, 27, can take it one step further and win the Glitterball Trophy.

Miss Jole, 42, said: ‘Ellie is going to be amazing, it will test her stamina more than anything else she’s done, but I think she can make it to the final – I think she can win!’

Guessing who Ms. Simmonds will partner with is a hot topic among Strictly fans.

The shortest male professional dancer, Carlos Gu, is 5ft 5in.

Miss Jole provided insight into how Mrs. Simmonds might approach the competition, saying, ‘I didn’t want to look at anyone’s crotch when I dance.

“That would have been off-putting to people watching, so some changes had to be made.

American reality star Terra Jole, who reached the semifinals of Dancing With The Stars, the American version of Strictly in 2016, believes Miss Simmonds, 27, can take it one step further and win

American reality star Terra Jole, who reached the semifinals of Dancing With The Stars, the American version of Strictly in 2016, believes Miss Simmonds, 27, can take it one step further and win

“I worked with the shortest professional, Sasha Farber, and because he’s six feet tall, that meant I was at least up to his chest. It meant I looked like the other couples.

“As little people, we’re used to adjusting things all our lives, so dancing in these shows is no different.

“I couldn’t reach Sasha’s shoulders, so I touched the part of his arm above his elbow.

“Little people can’t put their hands above our heads, so I’d rather reach out than get up. If things were high, we’d have to adjust them.

‘My torso is the same size as an average person. Sasha thought he would throw me in the air and beat me around because he thought I would weigh a lot less, but I didn’t.

“And he had to get used to the fact that I wasn’t wearing heels, because I couldn’t. I’d never walked in it, let alone danced it.’

Last year’s Strictly winner, Rose Ayling-Ellis, who is deaf, was credited with raising awareness of hearing problems.

Miss Simmonds’ loved ones hope she will do the same for other little people.

Paralympian Ellie Simmonds (pictured) has been tipped to stand head and shoulders above the competition to win this year's Strictly Come Dancing

Paralympian Ellie Simmonds (pictured) has been tipped to stand head and shoulders above the competition to win this year's Strictly Come Dancing

Paralympian Ellie Simmonds (pictured) has been tipped to stand head and shoulders above the competition to win this year’s Strictly Come Dancing

Mother of three, Miss Jole said, “Many of the younger community looked up to me. Children with dwarfism came to the show and held up banners. It was amazing.

“So many people were stunned that I could dance with a normal person.”

She said comedian Howard Stern had said, ‘I don’t see how this is going to happen,’ adding: ‘All our lives little people are told we’re not as capable, not as good as normal-sized people.

“That’s what inspired me to do the show, and I hope Ellie knows she’s going to be great at it.

“I’m so excited for her to experience this – and I’m so excited to watch her.”

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