Former DWTS Pro Recalls Hearing She Was ‘Too Fat’ to Be on TV

Cheryl Burke Too Fat

Heavy Cheryl Burke opened up about her body insecurities.

A former professional dancer from “Dancing with the Stars” has admitted she struggled with body dysmorphia and feeling as if others believed she was “too fat” to be on television. Cheryl Burke was a pro for 26 seasons of DWTS, and she opened up about her image struggles in a recent podcast appearance.

Here’s what you need to know:

Cheryl Burke Deals With Body Dysmorphia

Burke opened up about these challenges during the April 15 episode of the “Amy and T.J. Podcast” with Amy Robach and T.J. Holmes. The trio talked briefly about “Dancing with the Stars” cast reveal days on “Good Morning America” when Robach and Holmes were with the morning show.

The dancer mentioned the pros often would rehearse outside in the dark and cold before the broadcast. The chatter led to Burke suggesting she would need to go on a strict diet if she were to try to fit into one of the show’s skimpy dance costumes again.

Then, the retired “Dancing with the Stars” pro added, “But that’s my body dysmorphia that I’ll forever have, and I’m very open with that.”

“You’ve seen me grow up on this show. I started when I was 21 years old. I went through this horrific, ‘She’s too fat for TV’ [period] too,” Burke noted. She shared that things got especially difficult during a period of her life when she was “Growing into my ‘Who I am as a woman’ [period] as well.”

She explained that during that time, “I did gain weight, you know, and it was like season seven or something. I’ll never forget it.” Burke remembered hearing people talking about her weight on television and she was floored.

Burke was asked who talked about her being “too fat.” She explained it was more of a collective situation. Overall, “I think it was just people, like people that watched the show.”

The “Dancing with the Stars” alum added, “I mean, you know, did I gain a few pounds during the hiatus? Yes, I mean, naturally, right? Like we do. But like I am curvy in comparison to a lot of the other professional women.”

The DWTS Alum Is Still Working on Healing

Burke came to feel that whenever she did gain weight during her time with “Dancing with the Stars,” it became “a thing.” She also suggested that times have changed, and people wouldn’t make the same comments today.

She noted, “No one has ever come up to me and been like, you have to lose weight.” Even so, Burke developed intense insecurities about her weight. She admitted she felt bad for the wardrobe team during those days because that’s where her insecurities really came out.

“It would really alter my mood,” Burke recalled. If she felt bloated or heavy, her insecurities would bubble up and she’d take it all out on others around her. Her dance partners became targets at times, too.

“Am I still there, I’m not gonna say I’m fully recovered, but I’m definitely healing, you know, and that’s gonna be a forever process,” Burke acknowledged.

Burke shared that the insecurities and body dysmorphia developed during her days of competitive dancing. She’s been in therapy for a decade, working through these issues.

The “Dancing with the Stars” alum also does somatic therapy and has a gratitude journal to help her focus on self-respect and self-love. Burke admitted, “My brain has been trained to always pick out the negatives in general.”