If Cheryl Burke Retires from ‘DWTS,’ Maybe Derek Hough’s Girlfriend Could Take Her Spot

Hayley Erbert and Derek Hough attend the premiere of 20th Century Fox's "Ad Astra" at The Cinerama Dome on September 18, 2019 in Los Angeles.

Getty Hayley Erbert and Derek Hough attend the premiere of 20th Century Fox's "Ad Astra" at The Cinerama Dome on September 18, 2019 in Los Angeles.

The Dancing With the Stars fans are up in arms this year about so many things. The latest thing they are passionately campaigning for is that they want to see Hayley Erbert, professional dancer, and Derek Hough’s longtime girlfriend, back in the ballroom — and this time, as a professional partner.


The Petition Makes a Compelling Argument

Erbert is a seasoned professional dancer, having appeared on So You Think You Can Dance and working as part of the Dancing With the Stars troupe for many seasons. The Change.org petition for Erbert to be re-hired on Dancing With the Stars reads:

Hayley Erbert is a cross-trained professional dancer. At 18 years old, Hayley started her career on SYTYCD season 10, placing in the Top 3 among the females. She got to work with seasoned choreographers like Leonardo y Miriam, Dmitry Chaplin, NappyTabs, Mia Michaels, Christopher Scott, etc. At 21 years old, she began appearing on DWTS. For 7 seasons, she danced in the DWTS troupe and even went on 4 national tours with the show. Sadly, the troupe disbanded in season twenty-eight. From her time as a mentor on DWTS Jrs, she also proved herself worthy of a pro spot. Many people were furious when her team was shockingly eliminated, noting that her choreography was “fresh” and “different” from what they had seen before.

Outside of DWTS, Hayley has worked with Tessandra Chavez, Val Chmerkovskiy (serving as his assistant choreographer on SYTYCD), Kyle Hanagami, Pitbull, Carrie Underwood, Paula Abdul, JLO, and Derek and Julianne Hough. She was a featured dancer for two years on their MOVE tour. She also worked as a producer on NBC’s “Holiday With The Houghs,” which shows she understands the cinematic presentation of dances and how to cater to a live audience. In 2020, she made headlines for her performance(s) in the Disney Sing-Along, where she helped edit and choreograph. Most recently, she danced the Paso Doble with Derek Hough on DWTS and absolutely killed it!!

Hayley teaches Contemporary and Latin Ballroom around the country in classes and conventions. She has been on the faculty for national conventions such as TitansofDance, MSATour, and Tremaine. In 2019, she went to Kuwait and taught dance at the Festival of Arts and Dance.

Hayley is the sweetest person and many of her fans (like my friends and me) have been around since the beginning of her career & would do anything to see her as a pro! She has been a part of the DWTS family for SO long and deserves a shot. #HayleyforPro

Erbert has definitely proven she has the moves, especially when she and Hough performed a paso doble together earlier this year on Dancing With the Stars.


Maybe She Could Take Cheryl Burke’s Spot

Professional dancer Cheryl Burke, who has been with Dancing With the Stars since season two back in 2006, has hinted that she may be ready to hang up her dancing shoes soon.

The 36-year-old professional dancer said in a recent interview, “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].”

She also said she doesn’t want to get to the point where she is doing the same choreography year after year, or that her partner can no longer lift her. Burke added that if she was offered a spot on the judging panel, she’d love to join them.

So, maybe if Burke retires, Erbert would be considered for her replacement. The DWTS troupe was introduced in season 12 and Erbert joined in 2015, dancing with the troupe until it was disbanded after season 27.

At the time, she wrote, “The past 3.5 years have been the most incredible journey for me. To have been apart of this show for 7 seasons, 4 tours, and a mentor on DWTS Juniors is beyond anything I could have imagined. Thank you to everyone who has supported me over the years, I adore you all and would not be where I am without your love. I want to wish everyone in my dancing fam the best of luck this season! They all will kill it as usual! As sad as I am to not be apart of this season, life has decided to guide me in a different direction and I am excited to see where it will take me.”

Dancing With the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

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