Cheryl Burke is leaving Dancing with the Stars as a pro dancer after the Season 31 finale on Disney+.
“I am sitting here full of so many conflicting emotions about the words I am about to write,” she posted on Instagram. “Tomorrow night will officially be my final dance as a pro dancer on @dancingwiththestars. This has been one of the absolute hardest decisions of my life & I am also confident that it is the right one.”
Burke referred to the competition series her as “2nd family since I was 21 years old,” adding, “The cast, crew & fans have seen me through my highest highs & some of my lowest lows, & I honestly don’t know who I would be today without them.”
The pro dancer said that dance would always be part of her life however the time had come to being the next phase of her career and indicated what could be next for her.
“I am excited about the idea of evolving, about being challenged in new ways, having the ability to expand my commitment to mental health advocacy, focusing on my new found love for podcasting, & I’m ready to face the uncertainty (though it’s scary as sh**) of what the future holds – I do have a few things up my sleeves though, so don’t worry,” she said.
Burke was banded together with Sam Champion in Season 31 and was eliminated from Dancing with the Stars on Week 4. She will get back to the finale for a farewell dance that she is devoting to every one of her fans and every individual who has supported her.
“I’m honestly not sure how I’m going to get through it without tears but even with the heartache & emotions, I am grateful to have the opportunity to perform this dance & do so with two of my favorite male pros to dance with, @pashapashkov & @louisvanamstel,” she said of her final dance on DWTS.
News of Burke’s departure comes as OG judge Len Goodman declared his exit to spend more time with his family in the U.K.
Burke finished her declaration with the following sentiment: “Though there aren’t enough words to express my deep gratitude & love to my entire DWTS family I will end with this: thank you for being my rock & foundation for close to two decades during the difficult moments & most of all, thank you for giving ballroom dancing the credit & attention it deserves. You have not only brought joy to millions upon millions of viewers every season, you have brought light & so much love into my heart & soul when I’ve needed it most. This has truly been the experience of a lifetime. I’m looking forward to this next chapter of my career, but man will this one be hard to beat! Until next time…Love you all, always & forever.”