Rose And Giovanni’s Silent Dance Wins BAFTA’s Must-See Moment

The pair's Strictly dance, paying tribute to the deaf community, was voted the public's favourite TV moment

Strictly Come Dancing

by Hanna Woodside |

Who can forget the incredible dance that Eastenders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis and dancer Giovanni Pernice performed on Strictly Come Dancing last year? The pair started the dance to Symphony by Clean Bandit and Zara Larsson - but, halfway through, the music stopped so they could dance in silence.

Rose was the first deaf contestant to compete on Strictly, and it was one of the most powerful dances on Strictly. So it's no surprise that it won the Virgin Media Must-See Moment at the BAFTA TV Awards, the only award voted for by the public.

Speaking on the red carpet ahead of the ceremony, Rose said: '‘The dance that we did together was such a special dance. It’s not just a dance, it’s so much more.' Rose's performance on the series sparked a rise in people learning British Sign Language. 'It increased people signing up to learn sign language by 4000%’, Rose added.

Rose & Giovanni at the BAFTA TV Awards
©Getty Images

Accepting the award, Rose said: 'It is a very special moment for us because hopefully it showed how powerful TV can be, where it has actually introduced changes. It has even helped the BSL (British Sign Language) law be passed recently. It made people stand up more for sign language, and just a better deaf awareness and positiveness towards people. We have still got a long way to go but it is such a great start. We are so, so, so proud of it.'

The 27-year-old actress, who has been deaf since birth, has campaigned for BSL to be recognised as an official language and be given legal status in the UK. In April, a Bill was passed in the House of Lords to legally recognise BSL as an official language in England, Wales and Scotland.

Backstage, in the winners' press conference, Giovanni explained: 'When I first choreographed the silent moment, I knew it was going to be a big moment. But as Rose said this moment has changed people's lives [...] It has made me realise that we were all need to make an effort to make everyone feel more included.'

Rose added that she is determined to continue raising awareness and advocating for the deaf community: ‘I want to carry on making impact because I feel that my work is not done - there's so much more we can do.'

Gallery

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Omari Douglas, Olly Alexander and Callum Scott Howells BAFTA TV AWARDS
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Denise Gough BAFTA TV AWARDS
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Michelle Keegan and Mark Wright  BAFTA TV AWARDS
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BAFTA TV AWARDS Emily Watson
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BAFTA TV AWARDS Niamh Algarattends
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BAFTA TV AWARDS Eleanor Tomlinson
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BAFTA TV AWARDS Giles Terera
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Rose Ayling-Ellis BAFTA TV AWARDS
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