Cheryl Burke Explains Why She's "Scared" to Compete on Dancing With the Stars Sober

Cheryl Burke is getting real about the insecurity she’s feeling ahead of Dancing With the Stars‘ new season.

The professional dancer said she’s experiencing a new sense of vulnerability now that she’s almost three-years sober and going into her 24th season of the ABC competition program. While driving to rehearsals, she told her Instagram followers, “Just thought I would do a little confessional because if I said to you that I was just so excited and not nervous, that would be a lie. Of course, I’m nervous. Of course, I have my thoughts getting the best of me.”

Cheryl shared that she is “insecure and nervous” this season, which is a new feeling to her now that she’s sober. She explained in her caption, “Doing this show sober has really made me realize my every insecurity and the amount of pressure I put on myself, which is tough.”

The 37-year-old dancer added that she’s experiencing “body dysmorphia,” but she’s not giving up on DWTS yet.

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“Whatever you guys hear in the press, if I’m retiring or whatever,” she said. “That for me isn’t definitive. Like, yes my body hurts. Yes, my mental state at times may not be up to par sometimes to what this show expects, right? But at the end of the day, I have to remember and put everything into perspective that this is just a dance show.”

Cheryl added that she’s taken home the mirror ball trophy before and she’s realized the series is “not about winning.”

“It’s not about me, it’s about my celebrity,” she explained. “But the pressure that I put on myself sometimes, it’s so intense and it’s just not realistic.”

© ABC/Kelsey McNeal ABC/Kelsey McNeal

Despite all the nerves, which she said “gets worse as I get older,” Cheryl can’t wait for the season 24 premiere. She said, “I’m so excited. My partner’s so excited, and I cannot wait to show you what we have in store.”

Last September, Cheryl shared that she decided to become sober following the death of her father. “This was two years ago when Matt and I were at our engagement party, it was a decision that happened right after my father’s death,” she explained. “My father was an alcoholic, and I was reacting really weird to the alcohol, I started to get hives all of a sudden.”

Her husband, Matthew Lawrence, supported her on this journey, as did dance partner AJ Mclean. The Backstreet Boys artist also gave up alcohol last year, which helped the duo bond throughout the season.

“That’s why I really wanted AJ,” Cheryl shared, “because I’m like, for him to be maybe partnered with someone who is just, like, still fresh in the scene or likes to go out, I was a little worried just as a friend in a way…But, then I’m glad we’re partnered up together.”

As for those retirement rumors, Cheryl previously shared that her body is feeling a bit tired from the grueling rehearsals, where partners sometimes drop her during lifts. “My hips don’t lie and I’m starting to get tendonitis,” she shared last November. “For a woman, as far as ballroom dancing competitively goes, normally in their 30s [you retire]—I’m 36—so it’s time to hang up those shoes.”

While she said it might be time to call it a day on her dance career, the star is pushing through the pain for another season.

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