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CEO School

Dec 19, 2022

How do you find the confidence to get on your metaphoric stage? Dancing with the Stars’ Cheryl Burke shares how she finds her confidence and courage and why putting herself in service of others has brought her so much success in her career. Cheryl shares about possibly hanging up her dance shoes and donning a CEO hat in her developing mental health and movement app.  

With over twenty-five years of dancing experience and several championship titles under her belt, twice Emmy-nominated professional dancer Cheryl Burke first discovered her love of dance at the age of 4, taking ballet lessons and performing throughout the San Francisco Bay area of California. At eleven, she discovered what would be her winning talent, ballroom dancing, and decided to hang up her ballet shoes to begin training competitively all over the world in both Ballroom International Standard and Latin styles. At age 20, Cheryl rocketed to stardom as the star of ABC’s surprise hit television show, Dancing with the Stars, becoming champion twice with NFL superstar Emmitt Smith and 98 Degrees singer Drew Lachey.


In 2015, Cheryl starred alongside Joe Jonas, Ciara, Nicole Scherzinger, and Marlon Wayans in NBC’s I Can Do That, a variety show that challenged celebrities to live outside their comfort zones. 2016 marked Burke’s return to Dancing with the Stars. Since then, she’s danced alongside infamous Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte, NFL Hall of Famers Terrell Owens and Ray Lewis, Telenovela actor William Levy, reality stars Rob Kardashian and Jack Osbourne, and Backstreet Boy, AJ McLean. Most recently, for her twenty-fifth appearance on the long-running program, she partnered with Peloton instructor Cody Rigsby to a third-place finish on Season 30, marking Cheryl’s eighth appearance in the Finals.


In 2016, Cheryl created, produced, and starred in Love on the Floor, a live stage show featuring professional dancers and Olympic and World Champion ice skaters coming together to tell a story of love and its many stages. The evocative stage show includes many forms of dance choreographed by Emmy Award-winning choreographers. Cheryl, who created and served as the show’s producer alongside live event giant IMG, was joined on stage by Kristi Yamaguchi, Meryl Davis, Charlie White, and Daisuke Takahashi when the show made its worldwide premiere in June of 2016 in Tokyo, Japan where it grossed over two million dollars in ticket sales in ten sold out shows. In 2017, Cheryl took Love on the Floor back to Japan for the second time, where it again played to sold-out audiences.


Cheryl made headlines in 2016 when she was cast as the replacement coach on Lifetime’s long-running reality series Dance Moms. Hired to replace the legal battle embroiled and controversial Abby Lee Miller, Cheryl went toe to toe with difficult dance moms in season seven. She strived to coach the girls toward success by embracing their unique differences to become the best possible dancers that they could be.


In 2020, Cheryl teamed with Backstreet Boys superstar and former DWTS partner AJ McLean to host the iHeart Radio-produced podcast Pretty Messed Up. The duo and their 3rd host Rene Elizondo, created a podcast that touched on topics ranging from reality tv to sobriety and mental health. Cheryl currently has her own podcast, Burke in the Game, with the streaming giant and top podcast-producing company, iHeartRadio.



In the spring of 2008, Cheryl opened her first of several dance studios, the highly successful Cheryl Burke Dance. In early 2011 Cheryl’s biography Dancing Lessons: How I Found Passion and Potential on the Dance Floor and in Life was released. The book addresses topics that shaped Cheryl throughout her life, from the childhood abuse and abusive relationships she lived through to harsh criticisms of her weight and body in her early twenties.


Not limiting herself to the dance studio, in 2015, Cheryl launched her own clothing line CeeBee, a collection of activewear and workout attire featuring items that are designed to fit the active lifestyle of the average woman. In 2020, Cheryl partnered with Bailey Blue for a line of fashion face masks. The first collection included six fashionable and functional face masks inspired by the ballroom dances for which Cheryl is best known. With the success of the initial launch, the partnership expanded with Cheryl Burke Loungewear, a line of comfy, cozy, and chic pieces for the everyday woman who is always on the go.


In 2008, Burke was awarded an Asian Excellence Award, and in 2010, she made a much-talked-about appearance in the music video for Ne-Yo’s Camera Phone. In addition to her onscreen roles, Burke is a noted motivational speaker. Having been publicly attacked about her weight and having battled body dysmorphia her entire life, Burke often speaks at medical conferences, women’s conventions, and to school-age children about self-esteem and having a healthy body image. She also speaks about being a survivor of domestic and sexual abuse. Her accomplishments in entertainment were celebrated in 2020 with an induction into the Robert Chinn Foundation’s Asian Hall of Fame.


Currently, in development on several unscripted television show concepts that she will also produce, Burke has turned an initial reluctance to leave the world of competitive dance to appear on television into a growing empire, which includes plans to launch Body Language - a program that will focus on the therapeutic benefits of movement, which Burke has experienced first-hand. As an avid mental health advocate, her passion is to continue sharing her story in hopes of helping others know that they are not alone.


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