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HOME > Dancing with the Stars > Dancing with the Stars 4

Cheryl Burke dishes on new relationship and 'Dancing with the Stars'


By Christopher Rocchio, 03/19/2007 

Two-time Dancing with the Stars champ Cheryl Burke is excited, and it's not just because she's ready to defend her crown on the upcoming fourth season of the ABC reality competition series.  Instead, the 22-year-old professional dancer is basking in the enjoyment of her relationship with Matthew Lawrence, the younger brother of Joey Lawrence, Burke's former third season competitor.

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"Life is great! [Matthew] is a great, smart, wonderful guy," Burke said during a recent interview with People.  "We started dating at the end of December while I was on the (Dancing with the Stars) tour and we're having a lot of fun."

Burke and former 98 Degrees member Drew Lachey were crowned champs of the second season of Dancing with the Stars, and the two-time Emmy-nominated professional dancer continued her winning ways last season when she took home the title with Emmitt Smith, a former Dallas Cowboys running back.  Burke said the new relationship with Matthew has left her feeling like she's cheating on Smith and Lachey.

"I just talked to Emmitt a week ago. He called me and he said, 'You miss me already, don't you?' And I actually really do miss him. I remember teaching him the basic steps like yesterday.  It's been weird to adjust to another man to dance with," she told People.  "The first week getting back was a shock.  I haven't even digested the third season. I feel like I was just working with Emmitt a week ago. It was, 'Wow, I can't believe I'm doing this again.'"

But adjust she must, as Burke is going for another disco-ball trophy with her new partner, former Beverly Hills 90210 actor Ian Ziering.

"He's a fast learner. With choreography he's quick," she told People.  "The first few days was a little rough for him. He gets frustrated because he's a perfectionist. He can be really hard on himself. So I tell him, 'Deep breath and let's try again.'"

Having captured the last two Dancing with the Stars titles with her respective partners, Burke said she doesn't feel like the obvious favorite to three-peat.

"I don't think it's pressure. Even after coming in last season after winning with Drew in the second season, it wasn't about, 'Oh, I have to win again.'" Burke told People.  "It's about who I'm dancing with and making my partner the best dancer he can possibly be."

Matthew isn't the only person who's attention Burke has caught since she first appeared on Dancing with the Stars during its second season, but she has no regrets about waltzing in the public eye.

"I had a marriage proposal.  I was kind of flattered but freaked out at the same time," she told People.  "I've had a lot of little girls write to me saying that they want to be dancers and that I've inspired them. Just being known for a skill you've worked on your entire life is an amazing feeling."

(Photo credit ABC)


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