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Strictly Come Dancing final: Mary Hare School in Newbury cheering on Rose Ayling-Ellis and partner Giovanni Pernice as they take on John Whaite and Johannes Radebe in Saturday's BBC 1 show

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Staff and pupils at Mary Hare School for deaf children will be among the thousands of people glued to their screens for the final of the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing tomorrow (Saturday).

They will be cheering on the bookies’ favourite, Eastenders actor Rose Ayling-Ellis and her partner Giovanni Pernice.

Rose is the show’s first deaf contestant and the Newbury school has been excited to follow her amazing progress this year.

Evangeline wrote to Rose asking her to visit the school sometime.
Evangeline wrote to Rose asking her to visit the school sometime.

One pupil, Evangeline, has sent Rose a letter, while a message from one of the teachers was read out on BBC Radio 2.

In her letter 13-year-old Evangaline told Rose how she has had two cochlear implants since the age of one and that her favourite subject is dance.

She added: I love watching you dance. Would you like to come to school. We can show you our dancing.”

Evangeline's mum told Newburytoday that her daughter had been a fan of dance from an early age and attends the Diamond Dance Academy in Kidderminster every weekend. She also said she loves to do TikTok dances and dance was "something she could lose herself in and do whatever she wanted to express herself".

Emma Kennett, head of performing arts at Mary Hare, sent a message to the Strictly finalists, who were appearing on Zoe Ball's morning show on BBC Radio 2.

Her message, which was read out, said: “Rose has inspired a generation of deaf children. We are all rooting for her to win. Thank you for helping our kids to believe."

Rose and Giovanni will face John Whaite and Johannes Radebe in the final tomorrow, after TV presenter AJ Odudu was forced to pull out after tearing a ligament in her right ankle. AJ and partner Kai Widdrington were due to be the third couple in the final, which will air on BBC 1 at 7pm.

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