Paralympic swimmer Ellen Keane has said taking part in Dancing with the Stars is making her "more confident".

The champion athlete impressed in her debut dance, a lively Tango with her professional partner Stephen Vincent, in week two of the competition. In last Sunday night's show, the couple were similarly impressive dancing a high-tempo Cha-cha-cha which earned them another 21 points.

Speaking to press following the show, she was pleased with the judges' critiques - but wished their score had been higher.

Ellen Keane and Stephen Vincent have impressed with their first two dances on DWTS

"I was happy with feedback, but the athlete in me was more annoyed that we got the same score as last week!", she laughed.

"I even looked at Stephen and I was like, 'That was better than the tango'. Even one more point I would have been happy. Stephen was saying we don't want to start too high, so we have something to aim for."

Her dancer partner Stephen Vincent, who is married to fellow Dancing with the Stars pro Kylee, was full of praise for Keane.

"For me there's been constant improvement in Ellen from week to week", he said. "It's a complete switch in style too, from tango to cha cha cha. To be consistent in both is a good start, so I'm really pleased."

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Keane said she is harnessing her competitive side for the show, but that she has other areas she needs to work on.

"Last week I was in competition mode whereas this week, I was like 'I want to enjoy this, I want to have fun', because if I enjoy it and have fun it will come across better on TV," she explained.

"It's finding the balance for me and not being too much of an athlete, be an athlete in rehearsals but when it comes to the live show, it's about being a performer.

"That's where I think some of the other guys, their jobs are used to performing, whereas I'm used to competing, to making my body go fast."

When asked if Stephen and his wife Kylee, who is paired with comedian Neil Delamare this season, are competitive with another, he said: "It's a competition but it's an entertainment show, we're all genuinely want everyone to do really well.

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"For the celebrities walking into an experience like this, it's pressure enough. We just get behind everybody, we want people to find enjoyment in it, that's what it's all about.

"For Kylee and I it's constantly, 'No you did well, No you did well!' It hasn't quite switched on yet to 'I'm going to beat you'. It might do. It's actually nice, we have fun discussions about it all."

Neither Vincent nor Keane are worried about the infamous "Strictly curse" when it comes to their relationships.

"Kylee and I have been in the entertainment industry for a long time and we have worked together a long time as well," Stephen said.

"Ellen is really good friends with Kylee and I am good friends with Neil, we all hang out. It is more of a support group."

Keane continued: "It's so funny because dancing to the cha cha cha has to be is a bit sexier and Kylee would be like, 'Get closer, get closer to him'."

Keane's boyfriend, international table tennis player and coach Gavin Maguire, is very supportive of her taking part in the show.

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"He loves it and at the same time he can see that it's making me more confident", she shared.

"I am really comfortable in the sporting environment, but when I go to events or things not do do with sport, I don't know how to talk to other people. I feel comfortable in my own skin but I may not feel 100% confident.

"Doing this show he sees every week that I'm getting that little bit more confident and he loves it."

She said she enjoys the glitz and glam that comes with the competition.

Ellen Keane feels "comfortable" in her Dancing with the Stars costumes

"When you are on camera and you're doing your dance you have to ooze confidence on the screen, that is what I have to work on.

"Obviously I'm in swimsuits all the time and the dresses they have a body on the inside which is like a swimsuit. I am more comfortable in that than I would be in a long dress."

Dancing with the Stars continues with Movie Week next Sunday night at 6.30pm on RTÉ One and RTÉ Player.

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