‘Dancing With the Stars’: What Cheryl Burke’s Idea of Retirement Looks Like

Dancing With the Stars pro Cheryl Burke may want to retire, but that doesn’t mean she is done with the dancing competition show for good. Showbiz Cheat Sheet spoke with the DWTS pro about season 29 and what her role might look like on the series if and when she retires. 

Cheryl Burke
Cheryl Burke | Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

Cheryl Burke has teased the idea of retiring from ‘DWTS’ 

Burke competed with Backstreet Boy AJ McLean during season 29 of Dancing With the Stars. The duo was eliminated on “Icons Night” after what Burke felt to be unfair scoring. 

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Throughout the season, Burke was extremely open about her considering retirement. 

“People are asking if I’m retiring,” Burke mentioned during an episode of the Pretty Messed Up podcast she does with McLean. “It’s not as much about the show or me getting older as much as it is this frustration that AJ has mentioned. It’s about is this show still the show I signed up for?” 

Cheryl Burke feels ‘Dancing With the Stars’ has changed over the years

As a ballroom dancer, Burke excels in ballroom dance — not jazz or ballet. In season 29, she felt as though the judges were looking for more from the dancers outside of the ballroom realm. 

“Within the ballroom world and within the show and how the show was — at least for the first decade — it was about ballroom,” Burke continued. “With that comes technique and different curriculums — like we cannot break hold in the quickstep [or] tango. We have to be in the correct frame. We have to do certain steps.”

She expressed how, during the season, she felt as though the judges weren’t judging on form and content, but energy.

“I had no idea — when did the rules change?” Burke added. “Basically, we’re getting penalized by staying in hold and not creating as much energy, but then people are getting praised for breaking hold.” 

Cheryl Burke wants to become a judge on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ 

Burke concluded that episode of the podcast by stating: “I don’t know where my place is on the show anymore.” 

In speaking with Burke over the phone, Showbiz Cheat Sheet learned more about Burke’s desire to participate on the critical side of DWTS rather than the performance side. 

“Who doesn’t want to be a judge,” she said. “I think it’s an amazing job. I have been a part of the show the longest out of everyone.”

Burke started in 2006 and has been a DWTS pro for the last 15 years. Production is aware of her desire to become a judge, but unfortunately they haven’t arranged for that to happen yet. Burke is hopeful that in the future, producers will allow her to participate in another capacity outside of performing.

Cheryl Burke has other ideas regarding her retiring from dance, but remaining part of ‘DWTS’ 

Burke has suggested multiple ways for her to get involved with the show in a judging or training capacity. 

“[I would love to be] a guest judge, [or] let’s say I get eliminated early or I wasn’t a part of a season and I wanted to sit out — I would love to be a judge,” Burke explained. “I just have so much to share. I want to be able to help the celebrities and the dancers or even becoming sort of consultant.”

Whether or not Burke will return for season 30 of Dancing With the Stars remains to be seen. For now, fans can keep up with Burke by tuning into the Pretty Messed Up podcast.