Cheryl Burke left 'Dancing with the Stars' for new NBC competition series
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/09/2014
Cheryl Burke apparently left ABC's Dancing with the Stars before its tenth anniversary to pursue another television project.
Burke, 30, will be starring in a new NBC variety show next year alongside several other big names, Peoplereported.
"I never thought I'd be able to walk away," Burke told People of her decision to leave Dancing with the Stars after competing for 18 seasons as a professional partner.
"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."
While the new show's title and additional details have yet to be released, according to sources, Burke will perform on the NBC series and it will utilize a competitive element.
"Instead of teaching people how to dance, I need to be taught something," Burke continued. "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 resume now for years."
Burke also admitted the idea of serving as a judge on Dancing with the Stars was not appealing even though newbie judge and former pro Julianne Hough seemingly had a great time on the panel in Season 19.
"I would rather judge in America's Got Talent than Dancing with the Stars," Burke told the magazine. "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."
Burke's Dancing with the Stars contract expired after last season, which just wrapped late last month. She won two mirror-ball trophies during her long run on the reality dancing competition.
"It will be really hard for me to watch the new contestants next year, but I'll be cheering everybody on. I hope they do the same for me," she said.
Burke said she got to keep her final costume and is walking away from Dancing with the Stars with her head held high.
"Changing someone's life was the highlight," the pro dancer explained.
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"It's not so much about winning the trophy. It's about changing someone's life, like helping them to lose weight, to gain more confidence, or helping them to believe in themselves. Every person I have danced with had a great experience, and that's something they will remember forever. I'm so honored to be a part of that."