‘Dancing with the Stars’: Cheryl Burke’s Thoughts on Season 30 Theme Nights [Exclusive]

Like many fans, Dancing with the Stars pro Cheryl Burke doesn’t think every week needs to be a theme night. Showbiz Cheat Sheet spoke with the DWTS pro over the phone about making it to the semi-finals with Cody Rigsby. During our chat, Burke elaborated on her thoughts about the theme nights in Dancing with the Stars Season 30. 

Cody Rigsby and Cheryl Burke sitting at a high top during 'Dancing with the Stars' theme night for Queen
Cody Rigsby & Cheryl Burke | Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images

‘Dancing with the Stars’ Season 30 theme nights 

Unlike previous seasons of Dancing with the Stars, season 30 has been jam-packed with theme nights. From Horror Night to Disney Heroes and Villains Night, Britney Spears Night, Grease Night, and Janet Jackson Night, almost every week of DWTS Season 30 has featured a theme.

Cheryl Burke doesn’t think every week needs to be a theme night

“We’ve kind of veered away from being authentic, I think,” Burke told Showbiz just before semi-finals. “Not so much … authentic dances, but the music hasn’t been as authentic because of the theme nights.”

“I don’t think we needed to do — I’m not sure if every week is something that we should do,” Burke added. “At the end of day, I roll with it. This is the show.” 

As Burke explained, the last two episodes of season 30 will feature dance performances to more traditional songs. Burke was excited about performing in the semi-finals because the dances and music were “very authentic.”  

Burke believes there have been so many theme nights in season 30 because they’re relatable. “Grease Night I think was a huge hit,” she says. 

“I do miss Most Memorable [Year] … or going home with the celebrity and seeing where they came from,” the two-time Mirrorball Champion added. “I don’t know what the audience is thinking, but some theme nights work, some maybe not as much, you know?” 

‘Dancing with the Stars’ fans want less theme nights 

In a Reddit thread titled “Theme Nights are a bit excessive this year,” fans voiced their opinions regarding the abundance of theme nights in DWTS Season 30. “I love theme nights and getting creative, but I feel it’s a bit excessive this season,” the fan began. 

Mostly, they feel the themed nights of dance prevent contestants from “opening up fully.” As Burke mentioned, certain theme nights, like Most Memorable Year, are what fans miss most. Overall, fans enjoy a theme but don’t want to see them every week of the competition. 

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“I feel like we’re missing out on getting to know the contestants by the excessive themes,” writes another DWTS fan, adding:

“I get Disney night [and] horror night will always be there, but usually contestants will get some songs that allow them to talk about things personal to them. Cheryl said in her podcast that a few of the pros have never even seen Grease …” 

“I hate theme nights because we’re missing the authentic Latin & ballroom feel for dances,” said another Reddit user, echoing Burke’s sentiments. At this time, the future of theme nights on Dancing with the Stars remains unclear. 

Tune in to the Dancing with the Stars on Monday, Nov. 22, 2021, on ABC to see Burke and Rigsby in the finale alongside Amanda Kloots and Alan Bersten, Iman Shumpert and Daniella Karagach, and JoJo Siwa and Jenna Johnson.