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Cheryl Burke
Credit: ABC

‘Dancing With The Stars’ Pro Leaving After 26 Seasons

Dancing With The Stars has been a key part of ABC and The Walt Disney Company for over 20 years. The show pairs professional ballroom dancers with celebrities. The dancers teach the celebrities how to dance classic ballroom dances like the Waltz, the Tango, and the Foxtrot and compete for the coveted Mirrorball Trophy. Over the years, several professional dancers have become household names — like Derek and Julianne Hough –, as they have been with the show for so long. Now, one of those big names is leaving after more than 26 seasons.

Dancing With The Stars

Credit: ABC

Professional dancer Cheryl Burke recently shared on Instagram that this season of Dancing With The Stars would be her last. Burke first came to the series in Season 2 and was the first female professional dancer to win the Mirrorball Trophy. She was also the first pro to win back-to-back seasons, which was also the first time the same pro had won twice. Burke was with the show from Season 2 through Season 19, then left, but returned for Season 23. Over the years, Burke has been partnered with people like Drew Lachey, Emmitt Smith, and Sam Champion.

Cheryl Burke

Credit: Disney

Read Burke’s full message to fans below: 

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.

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. 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 favorite male pros to dance with, @pashapashkov & @louisvanamstel.

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. 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 🤍

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Cheryl Burke (@cherylburke)

Season 31 of Dancing With The Stars — which moved to Disney+ this year — wrapped up its 31st season with social media influencer Charli D’Amelio and pro Mark Ballas taking home the Mirrorball. Dancing With The Stars was the first show to be livestreamed on Disney+, although there was a backlash when Disney announced the move. 

Tyra Banks Dancing With the Stars

Credit: ABC

There is no word yet on whether season 32 of Dancing With The Stars will be on Disney+ or if Disney will bring it back to ABC. 

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!