Ellen Keane ‘felt so cringe’ when she was told to be more ‘sexy and flirtatious’ on Dancing With The Stars

Ellen Keane has told how she wanted the floor to ‘swallow her up’ when she was told to be more ‘sexy and flirtatious’ on Dancing With The Stars.

The swimming champion will samba dance at Under The Sea for Movie Week tonight and has told how with her disability some of the old ‘insecurities’ creep in.

The Paralympic gold medalist told the Irish Sunday Mirror: “During the cha cha I learned all the steps and Stephen, my partner, said I needed to be sexy, flirty and more charismatic.

“Stephen is a married man and he’s straight, I have this man doing all these moves and me trying to be sexy.

“Stephen’s wife Kylie helped me, she told me to get closer, but the first time I had to be sexy I was so scared.

“He was doing the girly moves and was all curvaceous and I was like, I wanted the floor to swallow me.

“For all of this, I couldn’t do it.”

Dubliner Ellen, 26, said her boyfriend Gavin Maguire, an international table tennis star and coach, supported her every weekend as she aimed for glitter glory.

She said: “He thinks sexy moves are gas, he tells me to go for it saying the more confident I can get the better.”

And she revealed that nasty comments on social media accusing her of being overconfident had hurt her.

She said: “I almost felt like a little girl, it’s almost a bad thing to be a confident girl.

“There seems to be confusion between the definition of confidence and arrogance.

“If you’re a confident woman, you’re considered arrogant and I’m not arrogant at the dance in any way, I just do my best.

“It upset me, that’s how it was.

“I also realize that I represent people with disabilities and I don’t want that to be unrealistic.

“People with disabilities struggle to gain confidence, as do young girls.

“I didn’t want it to feel like I cracked the code and that’s it, I wanted it to be as honest as possible.

“I struggled more with my upper half when it came to dancing.

Ellen Keane said her boyfriend doesn't mind falling under the Strictly Curse - because the show helps him with his confidence.
Ellen Keane said her boyfriend doesn’t mind falling under the Strictly Curse – because the show helps him with his confidence.

“Other people can easily compare their dancing to two-armed people, as I try to figure out how to move my arm, make it graceful and not awkward.

“It’s not my left arm that sometimes feels awkward, it’s my right arm because there are so many of them.

“I wonder where should I put it, where does it go?”

Tonight, Ellen hopes to pull off the samba moves because “there are a lot of fast moves and character.

“It’s a great dance to do because it’s very energetic, I grew up dreaming I wanted to be Ariel (from The Little Mermaid), of course I love swimming.

“It’s not that I get nervous, but it’s something new and I try to get into character every week.

“Because I’m fit and my body is strong, I thought it would be so much easier.

“Physically it’s hard, Stephen throws everything at me.

“Swimming is awesome, now it’s like my meditation, I step away from the dance and visualize the steps.

“On the second day, I know the stages, it’s not what I struggle with, it’s the performance.

“You have to be charismatic to dance and put on a show, I never had to worry about that before.”

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