'DWTS' Cheryl Burke's Decision to Share Sex Abuse Details Is Heroic

We all know Cheryl Burke as the tough, no nonsense, amazing dancer on Dancing With the Stars. She is kick butt and take no prisoners, but that ferocity is hard won. Her childhood was anything but idyllic and she spoke out about the details in her memoir Dancing Lessons: How I Found Passion and Potential on the Dance Floor and in Life, which just came out in paperback this week

The decision to be open wasn't an easy one, but is one Burke made in order to help other victims. Burke, who was 5 when a family friend started molesting her, revealed the details of this in her book and did so for a very brave reason.

The whole thing just makes Burke even more like-able than she already was. The fact is, it takes enormous courage to speak out the way she has and she has probably helped many with her courage.


Some people will likely judge Burke for her decision. People seem to want to sweep trauma under the rug and pretend it never happened. But that isn't the way to move forward. A victim should never feel they need to hide the truth. That only leads to shame.

It would be easy enough for Burke to stand on her pedestal and have people look up to her and allow them to all believe her life is as perfect as it appears. Anyone in Hollywood could do that easily.

So for someone who is in the spotlight to use their popularity to help others says a lot about the integrity of the person. Burke told Fox News:

I think a lot of young girls have experienced it and that some girls can’t talk about the abuse. I feel blessed to be able to talk about it and I went through a lots of therapy to be able to express my feelings. I feel when I do express my feelings it will maybe actually help somebody in the long run.

She was already deeply like-able on the show, but in a world of celebrities who are famous for being famous, it's nice to have a star who actually seems to want to use her fame to help others rather than help herself. In addition, her passion for dance may help other victims find their own passion. Dancing did more than make her famous and rich. It also helped her become the confident person she is in spite of all the troubles of her childhood. If that doesn't encourage dancing, it's hard to imagine what would.

Burke has my vote because she is an awesome dancer and a great teacher. But now she has it because she is brave as hell, to boot.

Do you think Burke was wrong to share these details?

Image via ABC

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