‘Dancing With the Stars’: Why Cheryl Burke ‘Can’t Decompress’ During a Season

Cheryl Burke is dancing her way to the top of the leader board with Backstreet Boy AJ McLean on season 29 of Dancing With the StarsBut behind the scenes, Burke admits to having a tough time unwinding. Find out why Burke says she “can’t decompress” during any given season of DWTS.

Cheryl Burke
Cheryl Burke | Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

Season 29 of ‘Dancing With the Stars’ is just starting to ramp up 

Competing on Dancing With the Stars takes a lot out of the celebrities participating. But it takes just as much effort — if not more — from the pro dancers who have to create the choreography, then teach it to their celebrity partners, many of whom have never danced before. 

While Burke and McLean are undoubtedly excited about making it this far in the competition, they do get minimal downtime to themselves. Overall, that lack of time has impacted their relationships outside of the show. 

Matthew Lawrence can’t wait until ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Season 29 ends 

Burke has been married to Boy Meets World star Matthew Lawrence since May 2019. Lawrence admires how motivated Burke is. But during the “What MATTers Most” episode of the Pretty Messed Up podcast, Lawrence also admitted how he is “counting down the days” until the DWTS competition is over. 

“It’s obviously gotta take a toll [on your relationship],” McLean pointed out. 

“I respect [the time and energy required of Burke to do the show], Lawrence said. “Whenever I have those moments where I get a little frustrated — [it’s always about] the craziest little things when you think about it. One, her not being here.” 

Burke and McLean practice every day for several hours at a time, leaving Lawrence home alone. “I’ll turn after five or six hours and [think] I’m just living here alone now,” he laughed. 

McLean apologized for keeping Burke so busy. Of course, Lawrence said it was OK. But as much as Lawrence wants to see McLean and Burke take home the Mirror Ball, he did admit how “It’s going to be really nice to have her back.” 

Cheryl Burke has a hard time unwinding during any given season of ‘Dancing With the Stars’ 

Burke is a fierce competitor on Dancing With the Stars. To date, she has won two Mirror Balls. Burke was the first two-time pro winner of DWTS, winning back-to-back victories in season 2 with her partner Drew Lachey and season 3 with her partner Emmitt Smith. Burke is hoping to take first place once again with her Backstreet Boy partner this season. 

But behind the scenes, Burke admits she has a hard time relaxing even after a stellar performance. During their discussion in the “What MATTers Most” episode, Burke admitted she struggles to decompress until after Dancing With the Stars ends a season.

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“It’s because of my personality,” Burke explained. “There’s no such thing as a gray area for me. I’m starting to see a pattern. When I commit to something, I am never stopping until it happens. I get very tunnel vision.”

Although Burke can’t seem to turn that tunnel vision off when she’s in the thick of the DWTS competition, she has a way of channeling that energy positively.