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Strictly Come Dancing 2022: Ellie Simmonds Bouncing Back After Exit

November 8, 2022

Ellie Simmonds’s mum says her daughter has gained so much through Strictly Come Dancing, despite being disappointed to leave the show.

Val Simmonds said she had gained confidence by doing something “so out of her comfort zone”.

“She never ever assumes she can do anything, but she’s always willing to try and is always a bit surprised when she can,” she told BBC Radio WM.

On Sunday, the Paralympian became the sixth celebrity to leave the show.

Simmonds, from Walsall in the West Midlands, performed a Charleston with dance partner Nikita Kuzmin, which brought them their highest score yet of 33 and was widely praised.

But they lost out to singer and actress Molly Rainford and her partner Carlos Gu in the dance-off.

Afterwards, the 27-year-old told presenter Tess Daly she had had the “time of her life”.

“It’s been the most incredible experience – life changing really,” she said.

Her mother Val said: “I thought it was a superb dance, but in some ways I’d rather her go out on a good dance, and Molly is very good – so it was always going to be tough.”

Simmonds, who was as born with achondroplasia, which reduces growth in arms and legs, achieved huge success as a swimmer before retiring last year.

Although she was a confident in the pool, her mother said she overcame a “lot of reservations” to go on the BBC One show, including whether she could dance and how dances would be adapted.

However, Val added her daughter had “just gelled” with Kuzmin and they had worked through each dance together.

“After retiring I think you are in a void of ‘what am I going to do next?’ She said all along I’ll take a year to see how things go before I start to try and develop where I’m going next,” she said.

“And this is very much part of it and I think it has made her realise whatever doors open you can look inside and think ‘yes I am going to have a go at that’.”

Kuzmin said Simmonds had taught him “empathy”, which her mother said was probably because of her strength and caring nature.

“I think he started seeing the world from her eyes and the daily challenges that you deal with… she doesn’t take anything for granted, but she’s so caring and looking out for others.”

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