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Dancing with the Stars brings the excitement of ballroom dancing to network television. The sensual dances, glittering costumes, and proximity of celebrities and their pro partners are an enticing combination for viewers. However, former pro Sharna Burgess claims the intoxicating mix also affected two celebrity partners, who reportedly made her feel “uncomfortable.”

Sharna Burgess claims 2 ‘DWTS’ celeb contestants made her feel ‘uncomfortable’

Former DWTS pro Sharna Burgess, who was partnered with 14 male celebrity contestants during her years on the ballroom competition series, claims two of her partners made her feel “uncomfortable.” She shared her thoughts with longtime friend and former DWTS pro Cheryl Burke for her podcast Sex, Lies & Spray Tans

“I have had two partners that made me feel very uncomfortable in the past,” Burgess admitted on the podcast. “At the time, I was much younger, and I would laugh it up and suck it up, and I would make it OK.”

She explained to Burke that her partner flirted with her and reportedly became frustrated when she did not reciprocate his advances. Burgess admits she spoke up to a senior person on DWTS regarding the situation. They allegedly told her to play along, saying, “You know what men are like.” 

“This is going back years and years,” Burgess continues, “This was pre-Me Too.” Today, the dancer says she is more comfortable to “set up boundaries” that allow her to feel safe.

“I learned during and after Me Too, women coming forward and saying, from the big to the little things, I was like holy s*** that happened to me, I didn’t even realize that I could speak up about it.” 

Sharna Burgess cited a second ‘difficult situation’ on ‘DWTS’ and ‘went through the proper channels to feel safe’

Sharna Burgess is photographed on the red carpet in 2021.
Sharna Burgess was photographed on the red carpet in 2021 | Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Sharna Burgess knew how to express her feelings when she began to feel uncomfortable toward a second DWTS celebrity partner. Burgess claims she had a “situation with a partner where it got to the point where we couldn’t be alone in a room without people watching.”

“That was a difficult situation for me,” Burgess explained to Cheryl Burke. She ultimately “went through the proper channels, and unfortunately, I wasn’t able to record everything, but I was able to record some things. I did the proper things, and reports were made, and I was taken care of.” 

Burgess quickly stated her “uncomfortable” feelings were “not sexual in any nature.” However, Burke told her friend that her feelings were valid and “at the end of the day, no need to explain. You were uncomfortable; that’s a complete sentence.”

Why didn’t Sharna Burgess return to ‘DWTS’ Season 32?


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Sharna Burgess’ name did not appear on the DWTS pros roster for season 32. This was as much a shock to the longtime pro as it was to the show’s fans.

Burgess had taken the previous season off as she had just given birth to her first son, Zane, with fiance Brian Austin Green, eight weeks before the season premiere. However, she claims she fully expected to be asked by producers to return this season.

During the premiere episode of her new podcast Oldish, Burgess said her exclusion from the series was a “huge shock” to her. She had reportedly made it clear to producers that she wanted to return this season.

Burgess claims she never received a call to return to the series as a pro. She reportedly found out via some of her fellow pros who had already received messages from production about their return.

“I realized when those spots were all filled, and I was like, ‘Oh my God, I didn’t get the call,'” she said. “I didn’t get any phone call at this point or didn’t get confirmation whether it was on or off. Just knew from other people. And that was really hard.”

Burgess concluded, “I can love the show and be excited for everyone, but I can also be sad and heartbroken that I don’t get to do that this season. And I don’t know if that means I’ll never get to do it again.”

Dancing With the Stars airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST on ABC. The series is simulcast on Disney+ and airs the next day on Hulu.