A “Dancing With the Stars” pro has taken her final bow inside the show’s ballroom and she’s talking about how leaving the program has felt.
Just a day before the season 31 finale, longtime ballroom pro Cheryl Burke shared her decision to leave DWTS in a lengthy Instagram caption.
“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. I also know that it is time for me to begin the next phase of my career, although dance will always be a part of me,” she wrote, in part.
Burke performed one final dance on the season 31 finale, sharing the moment with Pasha Pashkov and Louis Van Amstel, who danced with her as she bid the show adieu. After Burke’s performance, she did some press interviews and shared a bit about how she’s been feeling now that her time on the show is officially over.
Here’s what you need to know:
Burke Compared Her DWTS Departure to Divorce
Burke and her ex-husband Matthew Lawrence finalized their divorce in September 2022, according to People magazine. Going through a divorce hasn’t been easy for Burke, who has been trying to heal following her failed marriage and has been open about her journey, which includes self-care and therapy, on her podcast, “Burke in the Game.”
During an after-show interview, Burke actually compared her DWTS departure to her split.
“I am overwhelmed. I’ve been trying to hold back the tears, I would say, because I wanted to really perform the best I could. Now with all of that behind me, it’s bittersweet … but I have to just trust my intuition,” Burke told Page Six on November 21, 2022.
Burke went on to say that her decision to leave the show has been “so hard.”
“This is like another type of divorce, but an amicable one,” she said. According to Us Weekly, Burke’s comment shaded Lawrence as the two have not had an “amicable” divorce.
Burke Received Love & Support From the DWTS Family Following Her Last Dance
The day after the finale, Burke shared another Instagram post, this time uploading a video of her final dance.
“Thank you to Pasha and Louis for making my last dance one to remember. Love you both and Louis, thank you for opening and closing this chapter with me. I love you beyond words,” she captioned the video.
Several people, including DWTS cast members, took to the comments to wish Burke the best as she ventures out on this new chapter of her life.
“Stunning! We will miss you babe,” Peta Murgatroyd wrote.
“A legend. You’re incredible and such an inspiration. Love your guts,” added DWTS pro Daniella Karagach.
Sasha Farber visited the comments section to leave a string of red heart emoji while Burke’s former DWTS partner Cody Rigsby left one red heart.
“I’m sooo glad I was there to see you! You’re a legend and everyone loves you,” wrote Bravo star Golnesa “GG” Gharachedaghi.