DWTS Pro Tells Their Partners ‘Lose My Number’ After the Show


“Dancing With the Stars” professional dancer Cheryl Burke was on a podcast where she was asked about her former partners on the show and if she has stayed friends with them. Read on to find out what she (jokingly) said and which partners she remains great friends with to this day.

Cheryl Said First She Googles Her Partners, Then Tells Them to Lose Her Number

What's Her Story featuring Cheryl BurkeProfessional dancer Cheryl Burke has starred in 25 seasons of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars. She talks to us about mental health, childhood abuse, her celebrity partners, and more.2022-02-03T16:57:01Z

On the “What’s Her Story” podcast, the hosts asked Cheryl to talk about her past partners on the show. When asked what she does after she finds out who her partner is each season, she cracked, “I Google them.”

She then joked that afterward, “It’s kind of like, ‘Lose my number’ to most of my partners after the season. … Believe me, there is no sexual tension here!”

“No, I’m kidding!” she immediately exclaimed.

Cheryl Said The Partnerships are Like an ‘Arranged Marriage’ or a ‘Blind Date’

All kidding aside, Cheryl likened the “Dancing With the Stars” partnerships to “an arranged marriage,” where “you just don’t know” how you’re going to get along with each other — and sometimes Cheryl struggled with her partners because she’s such a taskmaster.

“I’ve definitely always been very much a taskmaster, is what they say. They labeled me as this from season two, I don’t take any s***. But that’s the way I was coached,” said Cheryl, adding, “I can’t lie, sometimes you just don’t get along with your partner.”

She went on to say how the worst partner is one who doesn’t trust his or her professional dancer or a celebrity who did not realize what kind of commitment “Dancing With the Stars” really is.

“The worst is when they don’t trust you, right, or they don’t like being coached by a woman or they were told that this show is not this intense,” said Cheryl. “They were told that maybe you can take days off, but when you come into the studio and you’re like, ‘I wanna win the freaking ugly Mirrorball Trophy,’ I’m like, ‘OK, well then let’s get to it! Are you sure? Are you sure you wanna win? Because this is not pretty, this is not what you see on TV. We’re going to have to work really hard,’ and when they say yes, then they probably regret it about week five.”

However, Cheryl did say that over the years, she has learned to be more patient with her partners, which has helped.

“Teaching people … has taught me to be more patient and more forgiving and to have more empathy and compassion because I think the hard-a** only lasts for so long, right?” said Cheryl.

Which Partners is Cheryl Still Close With?

When asked if there is one partner she’s the closest to, Cheryl said that it isn’t just “one person [she’s] the closest with,” it’s more like “what [role] do they play” in her life?

“Emmitt [Smith] is like the grandfather, you’ve got AJ [McLean] and he’s my sober buddy and we’re just trying to live one day at a time together,” said Cheryl. “Obviously, because Cody [Rigsby] is my partner from last season, we talk more frequently, but Emmitt was at my wedding and there’s really those people that just play different roles in your life, for sure.”

Emmitt and Cheryl recently reunited at the 2022 Super Bowl. Cheryl posted a series of photos to Instagram when they were hanging out, writing, “Had a blast seeing @emmittsmith22 and his daughters last night at his Super Bowl party celebrating his partnership with @herradurateq.”

She also said that even the partners she wasn’t necessarily close with still were an important lesson in her life.

“It’s interesting because even the partners that maybe I wasn’t a fan of, let’s say, in the beginning, it’s still a lesson. It’s all a lesson, at the end of the day,” said the professional dancer.

Cheryl famously did not get along with her season four partner, Ian Ziering, going so far as to say on a podcast (via TMZ) that dancing with him made her want to “slit [her] wrists.” She later apologized to him on her podcast “Pretty Messed Up” and later said that she reached out to him privately to apologize privately.

“Dancing With the Stars” returns for its 31st season in the fall of 2022 on Disney Plus.

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