Cheryl Burke Reveals the Real Reason She's Leaving 'Dancing With the Stars'

Cheryl Burke

It was sad news when Dancing With the Stars pro Cheryl Burke announced that after 10 years, she was officially leaving the ballroom. In fact, if you looked closely on last month's season finale, there were tears streaming down her face during the opening number. But Burke has finally announced her next move -- and it's a little bittersweet!

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There were rumors that Burke was going to follow the footsteps of fellow pro-dancer Julianne Hough and join the judges table next year (which would have been awesome). But instead Burke just revealed to People that she is actually leaving ABC altogether and joining a brand new variety show on NBC in 2015. The only details we know so far are that Burke will be performing and there will be some sort of competitive element to the show.

Bummer that Burke is officially off of DWTS, but she explains why it was time to spread her wings and it totally makes sense.

I never thought I'd be able to walk away. But after a decade of something, it's time for me to move on and try something different, to be challenged, to feel inspired. Dancing With the Stars will always be a part of my life. Dancing is what I've done since I was a little girl. But it was very clear the show only wanted me back as a dancer. They weren't interested in using me for other things and letting me grow.

And things do happen for a reason, because Burke isn't even sure that she would have been able to offer real constructive criticism to her fellow dancers.

I would rather judge in America's Got Talent than Dancing With the Stars. They are my friends. I'm blunt and very honest. We all take it personally. It would be very hard for me to judge my friends.

Sometimes you just know when it's time to move on, and Burke is ready to go from teacher to student (perhaps another clue on what to expect from her new show), saying:

Instead of teaching people how to dance, I need to be taught something. I need to feed my brain with other knowledge. This was a perfect opportunity. My contract was very restrictive on Dancing With the Stars so I couldn't do anything else. I've been waiting to add to my résumé now for years.

It's always sad to see an original cast member of a show leave -- especially after such a long and amazing run. But I give Burke a lot of credit for following her heart and leaving on a high note. It sounds like as much as she loved DWTS, the show wasn't fulfilling her anymore and that's okay. It's a part of life and growing -- and I think a great lesson and example for us all!

Will you miss Burke on DWTS? And will you watch her new show?


Image via cherylburke/Instagram

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