With that, Cheryl Burke walks offstage for the last time. The fan favorite of “Dancing With the Stars” revealed her professional dancing career ending on Instagram on Sunday. She has been a part of the show for 26 seasons.
“As I sit here and contemplate the things I am going to write, I am experiencing a wide range of emotions. Burke, 38, began, calling the decision “one of the absolute hardest decisions of my life” because it would be her “last performance as a professional dancer on @dancingwiththestars” tomorrow night.
“This show has been my 2nd family since I was 21 years old. The cast, crew & fans have seen me through my highest highs & some of my lowest lows, & I honestly don’t know who I would be today without them.” Burke became a professional dancer for the first time in 2006’s Season 2 when she and 98 Degrees singer Drew Lachey won the Mirrorball Trophy. The next year, she repeated her triumph with retired NFL great Emmitt Smith.
The host of the podcast “Burke in the Game” recently shared with her listeners that while dance will “always be a part” of her life, she’s excited for “the next phase” of her career, which includes a focus on mental health advocacy and a “new found love” for podcasting.
“I hope that you will tune in to see my farewell dance during tomorrow’s Finale as it is dedicated to all of YOU that have supported me, loved me even if you didn’t know me, & who has been such a huge part of my life, my growth, & my story,” she continued.
“I’m honestly not sure how I’m going to get through it without tears but even with the heartache & emotions, I am grateful to have the opportunity to perform this dance & do so with two of my favorite male pros to dance with, @pashapashkov & @louisvanamstel.”
At the end of her essay, Burke said that she couldn’t find “enough words” to express her affection for her “DWTS” family.
— HOTCHKA (@Hotchka) November 20, 2022
“Thank you for being my rock & foundation for close to two decades during the difficult moments & most of all, thank you for giving ballroom dancing the credit & attention it deserves,” she wrote. “You have not only brought joy to millions upon millions of viewers every season, you have brought light & so much love into my heart & soul when I’ve needed it most.”
She continued, ” This has truly been the experience of a lifetime. I’m looking forward to this next chapter of my career, but man will this one be hard to beat! Until next time… Love you all, always & forever xx 🤍.” Instagram and Twitter, both official “DWTS” channels, also shared the news.
“After 26 seasons in the #DWTS family, tomorrow, @cherylburke will take the stage for her farewell performance,” a statement read. “You are an absolute icon and we thank you for so many years of creativity and entertainment! ❤️ We will miss you so much.”
Burke’s announcement follows on the heels of head judge Len Goodman’s retirement announcement during the show’s “Semi-Finals.” “Whilst we all are getting excited and looking forward so much to the finale next week, it would also be with a touch of sadness and this will be my last season judging on ‘Dancing with the Stars,’” he said. “I’m looking forward so much to next week’s finale. I’m sure it’s going to be absolutely brilliant.”
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Professional dancer Britt Stewart discussed the news and the likelihood of Burke replacing Goodman as a judge on the show next season with Page Six. Burke would join Derek Hough, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Bruno Tonioli.
“Cheryl definitely wants to be a judge and I think that she would be an amazing addition,” she told us. “I think that Derek is a testament to a past pro becoming a judge. He really has the knowledge and he has the experience of what it’s like to be in our shoes.”
Cheryl Burke leaves the stage for the last time. The fan favorite from ‘Dancing with the Stars’ announced on Instagram on Sunday that she will no longer be actively performing as a professional dancer. She’s been with the show for 26 years now.
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