As she dusts off her dancing shoes for Dancing With the Stars Season 30, Cheryl Burke may be competing for the Mirrorball Trophy for the final time. During a recent appearance on The Tamron Hall Show, the 37-year-old professional dancer revealed that after decades in the ballroom, she may be getting ready to retire as a professional dancer.
Burke hinted at her fate on the popular ABC dancing competition as she opened up about the physical and mental toll the career has taken on her. Speaking to Hall on Monday, the pro dancer, who first joined DWTS back in 2006, admitted that "as a dancer, especially as a woman, our career, it doesn't last very long." Burke said the fact that she is 37 "and still sambaing out there and shimmying is pretty unheard of," though she said she is no longer "in the competitive level" as she has "to understand that I have arthritis in my body, you know, like, the pounding and pounding and pounding. [I'm] technically leading our sports players or whoever we're dancing with, right?"
Burke went on to explain that the impact of pro dancing on her mental health, as well as her desire to start a family, has contributed to her considerations of saying goodbye to ballroom dancing for good. She told Hall that she suffers from "body dysmorphia...well that comes with the business that also came even before I moved here to Los Angeles." She added that she also has to consider "it's not just me now it's me and my husband, and what do we want for our future?" Reflecting on her past two decades on the DWTS stage, she added that she is proud of what she's accomplished.
"I am grateful for that experience, but I'm not like these other girls who just had babies and can just bounce back," she said. "I know my body, but I also, more importantly, know my own mental health, and if I have this body image issue that I'm dealing with, again, if this [points to her head] is not OK, I can't perform."
As Burke contemplates her future in the ballroom, she has already been confirmed to be among the roster of professional dancers competing in Season 30, which will mark her 24th season on the show. She will join fellow returning pros including Gleb Savchenko, Valentin Chmerkovskiy, Artem Chigvintsem, Sharna Burgess, Lindsay Arnold, Witney Carson, and several others. While ABC has also confirmed the list of celebrities vying for the Mirrorball Trophy, the network has not announced pairings just yet. DWTS Season 30 premieres Monday, Sept. 20 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.