With over 20 years dancing experience and several championship titles under her belt, Emmy nominated professional dancer Cheryl Burke, has tangoed and sambaed her way into the hearts of millions through the hit ABC television show Dancing with the Stars and recently became the show’s first professional dancer to appear in the finals seven times and the semi-finals ten times, becoming champion twice with Emmitt Smith in Season 3 and Drew Lachey in Season 2.
A Bay Area native, Cheryl first began dancing at the age of six, taking ballet lessons and performing throughout the Bay Area. At 10, she discovered what would be her winning talent, ballroom dancing, and decided to hang up her ballet shoes to begin training in both Standard and Latin ballroom dancing. By the age of 13, Cheryl was traveling and competing throughout the world.
Burke has used her appearance on Dancing with the Stars as a stepping-stone to propel her career into different avenues. In the spring of 2008 Cheryl opened her first dance studio, the highly successful Cheryl Burke Dance, which is located in Mountain View, CA. In early 2011 Cheryl’s biography Dancing Lessons: How I Found Passion and Potential on the Dance Floor and in Life was released and currently there are plans in place for a second non-fiction book penned by Cheryl.
Initially, Cheryl was scouted by ABC reps at a dance competition and was recruited to be the professional dance partner for dancing novice Drew Lachey. Now countless doors have opened for her with guest performer public appearances, talk show appearance, and several exclusive Hollywood events. She has even dabbled with acting playing the role of a bespectacled awkward and shy nurse who blossoms into a ballroom sensation, on the Disney show, Suite Life with Zack and Cody.
In 2015 Cheryl is set to launch her own clothing line with home shopping giant QVC as her retail partner. The line of active wear and workout attire will debut in January and feature items that are designed to fit the active lifestyle of the average woman. Currently in development on several unscripted television show concepts that she will also produce, Burke has turned an initial reluctance to appear on television into a growing empire.
Cheryl has been named one of People Magazine’s Most Beautiful and often appears on Maxim Magazine’s Hot 100 List. 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 additional to her onscreen roles, Burke is a noted motivational speaker. Having been publically attacked about her weight and battling body image issues her entire life, Burke often speaks at medical conferences, women’s conventions and to school age children about self-esteem and having healthy body image issues
For Cheryl, dancing is a way of life. It provides a medium for her to express her inner feelings and passions all while maintaining focus and composure during extremely high-pressure situations. It is dancing that has made her such a competitor, both on and off the floor, and made her strive for perfection in anything that she sets out to do.