dancing debut  | 

Ellen Keane opens up about fears of rejection ahead of Dancing With The Stars

She is set to dance on the show for the first time this weekend
Clodagh Meaney

Paralympic gold medalist Ellen Keane has opened up about her fear of rejection ahead of her debut on RTE’s Dancing With The Stars.

The 26-year-old will make her dance floor debut on the show this weekend.

Opening up to about being a young woman in Ireland with a disability, the swimmer said: “You don't want (the disability) to be the only thing people look at."

"You don't want people to initially think 'oh no, they're disabled, next,' and that was my fear," she told Brendan O’Connor on his RTE Radio One show.

"I didn't want to only show my face, because eventually you have to meet this person and then have to eventually tell them. So it was like how do I do this? How did I figure it out to avoid the scary rejection.

“It's just the world you have to navigate through these days.”

Ellen has recently found love with fellow sportsperson Gavin Maguire.

"My boyfriend has a background in sports so he played table tennis for Ireland, and I was living at the time with people who weren't athletes, and I struggled so much.

“I had to do my gym in the back garden and I had to do cycling in the back garden and it wasn't a sporting environment and I really struggled with that so that's why I moved in with my boyfriend Gav,” she said.

“The environment itself was more accepting, it was like 'Ellen is at work,' rather than 'Ellen is doing a home workout,' so it was my daily routine, and part of my job."

“I hadn't even been going out with him that long. His parents were so supportive, I think it was three months and I was moving into the family home," she laughed.

The couple now live in their own place with their adorable dog Denny.

Ellen is one of six celebrity dancers set to take to the floor this weekend.

She will be joined by Aengus MacGrianna, Matthew McNabb, Jordan Conroy, Erica Cody and Billy McGuinness.

Ellen is set to dance the Tango to Harry Styles’ hit Golden alongside her professional dance partner Stephen Vincent.

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