Cheryl Burke Leaving ‘DWTS’ After 26 Seasons As A Pro: One Of The ‘Hardest Decisions Of My Life’

Longtime 'DWTS' pro Cheryl Burke announced she would be leaving the show after 26 seasons ahead of the season 31 finale.

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Cheryl Burke will make one final trip to the DWTS ballroom during the season 31 finale on November 21. The Dancing With the Stars pro revealed in an emotional Instagram post that she would be leaving the show as a pro after 26 seasons.

Cheryl Burke
Cheryl Burke’s Instagram message about leaving ‘Dancing With the Stars.’ (Instagram)

“I am sitting here full of so many conflicting emotions about the words I am about to write…” Cheryl began her announcement. “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.”

She continued, “This show has been my 2nd family since I was 21 years old. 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. I also know that it is time for me to begin the next phase of my career, although dance will always be a part of me. 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 newfound 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.”

Cheryl Burke
Cheryl Burke with celebrity partner Sam Champion. (Disney+)

Cheryl revealed that she will have a farewell dance during the season 31 finale that will be “dedicated to all of YOU that have supported me, loved me even if you didn’t know me, & who have been such a huge part of my life, my growth, & my story. 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.”

The pro ended her announcement by writing that “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.”

Cheryl Burke
Cheryl Burke in season 31. (Disney+)

Cheryl was paired with beloved weatherman Sam Champion in her final run as a DWTS pro. They were eliminated in the fourth week of the competition. Over the course of her 26-season run on Dancing With the Stars, Cheryl has won the mirrorball twice in consecutive seasons with Drew Lachey and Emmitt Smith.

Cheryl isn’t the only member of the Dancing With The Stars family saying goodbye to the ballroom after season 31. Longtime judge Len Goodman announced in the semi-finals that he will be leaving the show at the end of the season.

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