Cheryl Burke has announced that she will retire from dancing. According to an Instagram post, the professional dancer has decided to leave Dancing With the Stars after Monday night’s season 31 finale. When asked about her plans for the future, Burke, who made her debut on the long-running ABC series in 2006 at the age of 21 in the second season, expressed enthusiasm.
“This has been one of the absolute hardest decisions of my life and I am also confident that it is the right one,” Burke wrote. “This show has been my second family since I was 21 years old. The cast, crew, and fans have seen me through my highest highs and some of my lowest lows, and I honestly don’t know who I would be today without them.”
While “dance will always be a part of me,” Burke said, it’s time “to begin the next phase of my career.” The DWTS vet cited her commitment to mental health advocacy and a newfound love for podcasting. “I’m ready to face the uncertainty (though it’s scary as sh**) of what the future holds. I do have a few things up my sleeves though, so don’t worry.”
“Though there aren’t enough words to express my deep gratitude and love to my entire DWTS family I will end with this: thank you for being my rock and foundation for close to two decades during the difficult moments,” she said. “Thank you for giving ballroom dancing the credit and attention it deserves. You have not only brought joy to millions upon millions of viewers every season, you have brought light and so much love into my heart and soul when I’ve needed it most.”
As Burke put it, “This has truly been the experience of a lifetime.” Burke and his celebrity dance partners Drew Lachey and Emmitt Smith won seasons two and three of the series. When Season 19 ended, she left again, only to return for Season 23 before leaving again for Seasons 24 and 26. Burke came back for seasons 27 through the current season 31. She and her weatherman companion, Sam Champion, went home in the third week.
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She may no longer be dancing, but the veteran DWTS contestant has made no secret of her ambition to fill the judging void left by Len Goodman’s departure. Burke recently stated to Variety, “They are very well aware that I want that seat,” Burke recently told Variety. “It’s not that I just want it, I just know that I can contribute because I am an expert in ballroom dancing. I can say that with confidence.”
On, she elaborated, “Unfortunately, that decision is not up to me. I would love to still be a part of the family, I just would love a different role on the show, just like anybody after 26 seasons of having that same title. I think it’s important, for me at least, to feel like, okay, let’s grow together as a brand and also for me as a person. If that’s not with the show, then I’m moving forward and I’m moving on.”
The dancer Cheryl Burke has declared her retirement. The professional dancer will reportedly leave Dancing With the Stars following Monday night’s season 31 finale, as revealed in an Instagram post. Burke, who first appeared on the long-running ABC series in 2006 when she was just 21 years old, expressed excitement when questioned about her future plans.
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