Professional dancer Cheryl Burke has been with “Dancing With the Stars” almost since the very beginning — she started on the show in season two. And she told Heavy in an interview that it’s getting harder and harder for her to keep dancing at that level, battling arthritis and all kinds of pain.
She’s not quite ready to hang up her dancing shoes just yet — though there was a scenario she thought sounded pretty great as a way to retire from the show.
Cheryl Wants a 3rd Mirrorball Trophy
In talking about her journey on the show, Heavy mentioned that she won the show back to back in seasons two and three but hasn’t won since. So, how about this scenario — she and season 30 partner Cody Rigsby win the Mirrorball trophy and she sails off into the sunset.
“Right?!” Cheryl exclaimed. “There’s a part of me that wants that freakin’ third Mirrorball so bad! It’s been since 2007, for god’s sake!”
But in reality, she acknowledged that really it’s just “great” to have been a part of a show that celebrates dance this way.
“At the end of the day, I can be all greedy and say I want all the Mirrorballs like Derek [Hough], but I’ve done it already and it’s just great to be part of something for so long celebrating ballroom dance. Who knew?” said Burke.
Cheryl Said She Used to Put A Lot of Pressure On Herself On the Show
We wondered if she feels pressure as the last pro standing from the “old guard” — Val Chmerkovskiy has been a pro on the show since season 13, but no one dates back as long as Cheryl does. She told us she used to put pressure on herself during group numbers to make sure she could keep up with the younger pro dancers.
“Back when we did professional numbers, maybe I would put a lot of pressure on myself to maybe learn quicker, or maybe I’d rehearse extra hours on my own just to make sure that I was up to par, but now it’s so focused on the celebrities that I don’t really think about that as much,” said Cheryl.
She added that it’s more about forcing her body to do things “it probably doesn’t want to do anymore.”
“So many years of pounding. There comes a point when your brain and your body are just not connecting. You’re like, ‘OK, I thought I looked fast and sharp, but maybe it doesn’t read,’ or maybe my expectations are a little misconstrued when it comes to what I expect of myself, which honestly can be a little much,” she admitted.
So, Does She Have a Date In Mind for Retiring?
The professional dancer does not have a specific date in mind about when she’ll hang it up, but she did say it was absolutely a no-brainer about participating in season 30.
“You’re celebrating a milestone like season 30 and I’ve been there from the beginning and how can I not be a part of it?” said Cheryl, but she added that when you’re in the middle of a season, it’s hard not to think about being done.
“When you’re in it and you’re in pain and I do have arthritis all over my body and it’s not necessarily the best feeling in the world, you’re worn out, you’re tired, of course [you think about retiring],” said Cheryl, adding, “There’s also my other life. Dancing’s only a little part of me and there are also other things I would like to do. My husband wants to have kids, as do I, and I have to start to think about my future beyond the ballroom.”
Part of that future may be in fashion. Cheryl recently released a line of loungewear that is both super comfortable and fashionable. So, she will probably stay plenty busy if and when she does decide to hang it up — plus, she has said she’d love to be a judge on “Dancing With the Stars” as well.
“Dancing With the Stars” season 30 airs Mondays at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times on ABC.