Cheryl Burke has a message for all her “Dancing With the Stars” partners amid her exit from the long-running dance competition series. Burke took to Instagram to thank each and every one of her partners during her 26 seasons as a pro on the show for the “pivotal” role she says they played in her life.
“To all of my dance partners who each has played a pivotal role in my life, THANK YOU. Thank you for the life lessons, for trusting me with your vulnerability, and for ALWAYS giving each dance your all. Though there were times of blood, sweat, and tears, I can confidently say that regardless of it all, not a single one has ever let me down,” Burke wrote, alongside a slideshow of pics and clips of each of her “DWTS” partners, including Drew Lachey, Emmitt Smith, Rob Kardashian and more.
She continued, “Even if ‘dance mom’ Cheryl decided to take over rehearsal at times, ha, you knew that it came from a loving place so thank you again for trusting me, allowing me to mold you into dancers, and for the amazing ride that I’ll never forget. LOVE TO YOU ALL! 🤍.”
The post comes just a week after the professional dancer announced that she was leaving “Dancing With the Stars”.
“I am sitting here full of so many conflicting emotions about the words I am about to write… Tomorrow night will officially be my final dance as a pro dancer on @dancingwiththestars. This has been one of the absolute hardest decisions of my life & I am also confident that it is the right one,” the 38-year-old wrote on Instagram.
“This show has been my 2nd family since I was 21 years old. The cast, crew & fans have seen me through my highest highs & some of my lowest lows, & I honestly don’t know who I would be today without them. I also know that it is time for me to begin the next phase of my career, although dance will always be a part of me. I am excited about the idea of evolving, about being challenged in new ways, having the ability to expand my commitment to mental health advocacy, focusing on my new found love for podcasting, & I’m ready to face the uncertainty (though it’s scary as sh**) of what the future holds – I do have a few things up my sleeves though, so don’t worry 😉.”
“I hope that you will tune in to see my farewell dance during tomorrow’s Finale as it is dedicated to all of YOU that have supported me, loved me even if you didn’t know me, & who have been such a huge part of my life, my growth, & my story,” she wrote. “I’m honestly not sure how I’m going to get through it without tears but even with the heartache & emotions, I am grateful to have the opportunity to perform this dance & do so with two of my favourite male pros to dance with, @pashapashkov & @louisvanamstel.”
The two-time mirror ball champion shared her continued gratitude for the DWTS crew and the fans who have been there to support inside and outside of the ballroom
“Though there aren’t enough words to express my deep gratitude & love to my entire DWTS family I will end with this: thank you for being my rock & foundation for close to two decades during the difficult moments & most of all, thank you for giving ballroom dancing the credit & attention it deserves,” she said. “You have not only brought joy to millions upon millions of viewers every season, you have brought light & so much love into my heart & soul when I’ve needed it most. This has truly been the experience of a lifetime. I’m looking forward to this next chapter of my career, but man will this one be hard to beat! Until next time…Love you all, always & forever xx”
Burke performed her final dance on Monday’s Season 31 finale — which she dedicated to the fans of the show. Speaking to ET’s Denny Directo following the show, she addressed both her exit, and her plans for the future.
“I am so emotional,” Burke said. “I’m gonna miss everybody! This is it’s crazy. It’s like, this has been my family. This is all I know in Los Angeles.”
When asked about the possibility of becoming a full-time “Dancing With the Stars” judge in the future, Burke shared, “I think the whole world knows at this point that I would definitely love to. But it’s not up to me.”
“What is up to me is my future, and I do know that it is time for me to evolve and see what else there is,” she continued. “Because there is life after ‘Dancing with the Stars’, so I’ve heard. I don’t know yet. I’ll let you know.”
Burke admitted that, until things are solidified with her career plans, leaving “DWTS” means she’s been living “in uncertainty, and it’s really scary.”
That being said, she’s got some irons in the fire, hinting, “There’s talks of me being a part of a very popular TV show, but I can’t say anything. It’s not finalized 100 percent, but that could be happening soon.”
Burke appeared on “Dancing With the Stars” for 17 years and 26 seasons. The dancer first took home the mirror ball trophy during season 2, with Lachey, and again in season 3, with partner Emmitt Smith.
For more on her exit from the show, check out the video below.
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