Cheryl Burke Reveals the Real Reason She Left ‘Dancing With the Stars’

Cheryl Burke

Getty Cheryl Burke opened up about the real reason she's leaving "Dancing With the Stars."

“Dancing With the Stars” professional dancer Cheryl Burke announced her retirement before the season finale of season 22 of the show. Now, she’s letting fans know exactly why she chose to finally hang up her dancing shoes.

In a November 29 episode of her podcast, “Burke In the Game,” the 38-year-old professional dancer got real about why she chose to leave the show after spending more than a decade working with the brand.

“I will always be focusing on my own mental health, like I said before, I’m a work in progress, but that is not the reason for me leaving the show,” she said. “I left the show because I want to grow as a person, in my career and personally, to be quite honest. I’ve compared this breakup, in a way, to a divorce, so this will be my second divorce of the year. But this one is more amicable, as I’ve said in interviews.”

She added, “However, if the show doesn’t see me as more than a professional dancer, and I don’t say that lightly, then I’m moving on. For me, it’s important. I’ve always been this way. I need to make it official.”

Read on for more about what Burke said regarding her “Dancing With the Stars” exit.

Burke Has ‘No Regrets’ About Leaving

Burke took the time to clarify that she’s “not retiring,” but she is “hanging up my dance shoes.” The star added that she feels like her life has “yet to begin” and she’ll begin working “harder than ever.”

The dancer shared that she now understands why athletes say they go to “dark places” after they retire.

“Now I understand what athletes mean when they say that at the end of their career, they go into a dark place because really, this has defined my life, you know, this is what I said to Tyra [Banks] when I said what I’ll miss most about ‘Dancing With the Stars,’” Burke told her fans. “Because this is my family.Truly. The show, as a whole, has been my identity in every single way.” 

Burke also talked during her podcast that she’s glad she left the show when she did and she currently has “no regrets” about leaving.

“Let’s just celebrate the now. I did 17 years,” Burke told her fans. “I did my time on that show, and I did it to the fullest. There’s no regrets. I have made that decision. And again, do I hope to still be part of that brand? Yes, of course. But I’m not banking on it, that’s for sure. And I’m happy.”

She added, “This has been a long time coming.”

Burke Teased a New Project & Hopes to Be Part of ‘Dancing With the Stars’ in the Future

Burke is hoping that her time on TV isn’t done completely now that she won’t be dancing on “Dancing With the Stars” anymore. She took some time to talk about a possible upcoming project for the second time during her new podcast episode.

“There have been lots of interviews and auditions for this new show, that I can’t necessarily tell you guys what it it, but it’s a very popular show,” Burke shared. “A lot of people have watched, and it is, obviously that is still up in the air depending on how the ratings are for that show. I will know more beginning either end of January or early February.”

It’s not entirely clear what show Burke could be referring to, though she has a number of options. It’s possible she was referring to becoming a panelist on “The Masked Singer” or working with “America’s Got Talent” in the future.

Burke has been vocal about wanting to become a judge or a host on “Dancing With the Stars” in the past.

After being eliminated from season 31, Burke shared her hopes for next season with ET Online.

“It will likely be my last season,” she told the outer. “Give me another job on the show. There’s lots of different titles, but I have had the same one since 2006 … Hopefully it’s within this family — if not, that’s okay too — but, like anybody, you know, you like to get promoted.”

Burke said she thinks there could be room for her on the panel, even if it meant having five total judges now that there are no commercial breaks.

“Just saying, there’s only one woman up there — that’s my sister,” Burke told the outlet, speaking about Carrie Ann Inaba. “So let’s go, sister from another mister!”

“Dancing With the Stars” is set to return in the fall of 2023 on Disney+.

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