Longtime “Dancing With the Stars” professional dancer Cheryl Burke has been with the show almost since the very beginning and she has started to talk about retiring — she is 37 and she wants to start a family with her husband, actor Matthew Lawrence. But on a recent episode of her podcast, Cheryl confirmed she has “another year” in her dancing career. Here is what she had to say.
Witney Carson Asked Cheryl If She’s Going to Have a Baby Soon And Cheryl Wants To Go One More Year On The Show
On the November 9 episode of Cheryl’s podcast, “Pretty Messed Up: Dancing With Myself,” Cheryl welcomed fellow “Dancing With the Stars” pro Witney Carson. When talk turned to babies — Witney welcomed her first child in January 2021 and said she might sit out “Dancing With the Stars” next year to have baby No. 2 — Cheryl said she thinks she has “one more year” on the show. She also confessed to being “so nervous” about getting pregnant and then trying to bounce back from pregnancy as a dancer who is in her late 30s, so Cheryl thinks she needs to be “done” with the show before she has kids.
“Some women have been pregnant on this show who have bounced back literally in months. That’s just not — I’m 37. I need to put everything in perspective that my body hurts already without being pregnant. Can you imagine?” said Cheryl, adding, “I want to know that I’m done with this space in my life and I think that waiting another year is not gonna hurt. I do need to freeze my eggs and I’m really nervous about that. I probably need to do that this year, which would mean I have to get off my birth control, which means that I’m all paranoid about [gaining weight].”
Cheryl went on to say that she has body dysmorphia from being in the world of competitive ballroom dancing and the comments from TV viewers don’t help, so she’s very nervous about gaining weight in-between seasons and then also gaining weight when she eventually does get pregnant.
But Witney reassured her that she won’t feel that way when the day comes.
“You won’t even think about your body after you have [a baby] — I mean, yes, you’ll think about it. But it’s funny … being pregnant, you’re huge and pregnant and you’re just like ‘this is the worst’ at like 39 weeks. Thirty-eight weeks hit and I’m like, ‘I’m done.’ Get the pliers, get me the suction cup that suctions out the baby, like I need to get this baby out,” said Witney with a laugh, adding, “I was huge, Cheryl. I was huge.”
Witney Said She Was ‘So Scared’ To Try to Start Dancing Again But It Was All Worth It
After baby Leo was born in January 2021, Witney said that her C-section recovery was “really rough” — she ended up having an emergency C-section when baby Leo got caught in her pelvis.
“My C-section recovery was really, really, really rough. I couldn’t even get up out of bed … I could walk after probably five days. Even just getting up and going to the bathroom the day after my C-section was really rough,” said Witney, adding, “I think I had a little bit of the baby blues. It wasn’t quite postpartum depression, but it was definitely anxiety.”
Cheryl responded to all of this with, “This is making me even more scared to have kids. But it just shows you how strong women are.”
Witney said that it was all worth it, though, saying that when baby Leo was placed on her chest, it was “the best feeling.”
“I can’t even describe it, it was the best feeling in the entire world,” said Witney.
She also said she was “so scared” to try to get back in shape for “Dancing WIth the Stars,” so she understands why Cheryl wants to be done with the show first.
“I just focused on getting in shape, like stamina-wise because this show is a beast. I was so scared. I was like, ‘I am terrified to go back on the show,'” admitted Witney.
“Dancing With the Stars” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times on ABC.