Professional dancer Cheryl Burke is the longest-tenured pro partner on Dancing With the Stars, having appeared on 23 seasons of the show — seasons 2 through 19, season 23, season 25, and seasons 27 through 29. The reason for her absences in the middle seasons is that she left the show to participate on NBC’s short-lived variety show I Can Do That and took over for Abby Lee Miller on Dance Moms in 2017.
But Burke came back to the show and has had a couple of successful seasons in recent years. So, is she going to sign on for the upcoming season 30, which might be an all-star or retrospective season? The answer is that she’s not sure.
Burke Said Technically She’s Not Coming Back
On a recent episode of her podcast “Pretty Messed Up,” which she co-hosts with Dancing With the Stars partner AJ McLean and fellow dancer Rene Elizondo, the hosts played a game of truth or dare — which really just consisted of questions that they had to answer true or false to — and when Burke was asked if she was coming back to Dancing With the Stars, she said she’s not sure.
“I don’t know. God, I don’t know,” she said with a sigh, and then kind of punted the question by adding, “I don’t have a contract, so technically, no.”
ABC has yet to announced whether Dancing With the Stars is actually renewed for season 30, so right now, “technically” nobody is coming back. But it sounds like Burke isn’t sure she’ll be returning even if it is coming back.
She has been candid about the toll that dancing takes on one’s body and for a dancer, she is getting older — she was just 21 years old when she premiered on Dancing With the Stars and now she would be 37 for the 30th season.
“My hips don’t lie, and I’m starting to get tendonitis. For a woman, as far as ballroom dancing competitively goes, normally in their 30s [they retire],” Burke the “Chicks in the Office” podcast back in November when they asked her how long she saw herself competing on the show.
“I’m 36, so it’s like, ‘OK, time to hang up those shoes,” she said, adding that she doesn’t “want to be that oldie that’s like, ‘Oh, here comes Cheryl doing the same choreography, just going slow, but in her head she thinks she’s going fast.'”
But as far as Dance Moms goes, Burke said she “would totally do Dance Moms” again. That show probably doesnt take quite the toll on her that Dancing With the Stars does.
It Sounds Like She’d Love to Move to the Judges’ Table
On her own podcast, Burke did slyly mention that “if it’s up to the fans, [she’d] be judging” the show. Derek and Julianne Hough are former pro partners who have sat behind the judges’ table, so why not Burke?
It’s a bit of a change from her previous comments about being a judge. When she left the show to sign on with NBC in 2014, Burke told People that it would be really hard for her to judge her friends.
“I would rather judge in America’s Got Talent than Dancing with the Stars. [The other dancers] are my friends. I’m blunt and very honest. We all take it personally. It would be very hard for me to judge my friends,” said Burke.
Maybe now that she has seen what a great job Derek Hough did as a full-season judge, she is reconsidering her stance. What do you think, fans? Would you like to see Burke sitting behind the judges’ table?
It would be a shame to lose Burke for the milestone 30th season, especially if it’s a retrospective season since she’s been there the longest. But if she does decide to hang up her dancing shoes, fans have the perfect replacement — they want to see Derek Hough’s girlfriend and former Dancing With the Stars troupe member Hayley Erbert hired as a professional partner.
Dancing With the Stars will hopefully return with season 30 in 2021. ABC has not yet officially announced a renewal and premiere date.
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