‘Dancing With the Stars’: Cheryl Burke ‘Lucky’ and ‘Thankful’ for Support of Cody Rigsby in Sobriety Journey

Dancing With the Stars pro Cheryl Burke feels “lucky” and “thankful” for the support of her celebrity partner Cody Rigsby as the couple competes on the show’s 30th season. Burke, who will mark her 24th season as a pro, is entering this season as a sober participant. Although she admitted she felt nervous going into this journey, Burke cites Rigsby’s support as one of the key reasons she is able to maintain a clear vision.

Cheryl Burke found sobriety support from celeb partner Cody Rigsby on "Dancing With the Stars."
Cheryl Burke and Cody Rigsby | ABC/Eric McCandless

Cheryl Burke shared her sobriety story in 2020

Burke first shared her sobriety story in 2020. She found a kindred spirit in her season 29 celebrity partner AJ McLean, who shared his own sobriety journey on DWTS. Burke also found a friend in McLean’s mentor, Rene Elizondo Jr.

The professional partners forged a close friendship off-screen. Burke and McLean began a podcast titled “Pretty Messed Up.” There, they discussed their respective journeys and spoke with others who shared life struggles.

Through their work together, Burke realized how therapeutic it was to talk about what she had gone through. She found a public admission made her accountable for her actions.

Cheryl Burke found a supportive partner in Peleton instructor Cody Rigsby

Cheryl Burke and Cody Rigsby perform their first dance on "Dancing With the Stars."
Cheryl Burke and Cody Rigsby | ABC/Eric McCandless

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In an essay for Us Weekly, Burke said that her partnership with Rigsby has helped her to maintain her wellness path.

Burke says that dance is a “form of therapy” and it helps to have a partner who shares her same vision for happiness.

“As stressful as it is, pouring myself into a season of DWTS and dedicating my time to help my partner grow, in whatever journey they are on, is what I love to do,” she wrote.

Rigsby understands that Burke is sober and is supportive of her journey.

“With Cody [Rigsby], he knows that I’m sober and definitely supports it. He has family members that struggle with addiction. He is such a huge mental health advocate,” Burke says of her celebrity partner.

“I know a lot of people say that his classes really got them through the pandemic, which is amazing. We both practice meditation and mindfulness. We have deep conversations off the dance floor, so I am super lucky to have his support,” she continued.

Cheryl is excited for new friendships

Cheryl Burke poses solo during the premiere of "Dancing With the Stars."
Cheryl Burke | ABC/Eric McCandless

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Along with Rigsby, Burke admitted her excitement for new friends that are on the same life path as she.

She revealed that as a sober person, relationships change with those people who lead the lifestyle she left behind.

Burke explained that when her perspective changed she began to attract different people in her life.

“It’s important for people who haven’t been sober to take the time to educate themselves on how to respect their sober friend,” she explained.

“Your relationships will change, but you’ll find new relationships, too. I’ve made a lot of new friends who are also wanting to evolve and grow into the best version of themselves like I am,” Burke concluded.

Dancing With the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.