Childhood & Early Life
Cheryl Stephanie Burke was born on May 3, 1984, in San Mateo County, California, U.S., to Stephen Louis Burke and Sherri Bautista. She grew up with a sister, Nicole. She also has a stepsister, Mandy.
She attended a traditional primary school and then graduated from the 'Menlo-Atherton High School' in 2002.
Burke began her ballet training at the age of 4. However, after a few years, her mother realized that Burke was not interested in ballet anymore. Thus, she took her to a ballroom completion when she was 10. Burke was amazed after watching the dance form and decided to learn it.
At the age of 11, Burke started her training in ballroom dance. Her instructor suggested that she should focus on standard and Latin styles. Within 2 years, Burke had started participating in international ballroom dance competitions.
An ‘ABC’ talent agent scouted Burke during a 2005 competition, in which she had participated with her then-boyfriend, Jose DeCamps. It subsequently led to her participation in the network's dance reality series 'Dancing with the Stars' (DWTS).
In 2005, she became the 'World Cup Professional Rising Star Latin Champion,' the 'San Francisco Latin Champion,' and the 'Ohio Star Ball Rising Star Latin Champion.'
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Burke began her career in 2006, making her TV debut as 'Shannon,' a nurse, in an episode of the 'Disney Channel' sitcom 'The Suite Life of Zack & Cody,' titled 'Loosely Ballroom.' She subsequently appeared as a dancer 'Smallville.'
In 2006, she bagged two ‘Primetime Emmy’ nominations, once each for ''Outstanding Choreography'' and ''Variety/Music Program/Special.'' She thus became the youngest 'Emmy' nominee in these two categories.
Burke scored two consecutive ‘DWTS’ victories, one each in season 2 (January 2006) and season 3 (September 2006). She teamed up with '98 Degrees' member Drew Lachey in the former and with retired football star Emmitt Smith in the latter.
She and Lachey again paired up for the 'Dancing with the Stars' tour from December 19, 2006, to February 11, 2007. Burke was paired with actor Ian Ziering in the fourth season (March 2007). The two were eliminated in the semi-finals.
She partnered with Lachey again for the 24-city summer tour, from June 20, 2007, to July 24, 2007. Burke's ‘DWTS’ partner for season 5 (September 2007) was Las Vegas entertainer Wayne Newton. They got eliminated on October 9, 2007. On October 20, Burke received the 'Role Model Award' at the 7th 'Annual Filipino/American Library Gala.'
Along with Lachey and Newton, Burke participated in the ‘DWTS’ winter tour, from December 18, 2007, to February 10, 2008.
In April, Burke launched her first dance studio in San Francisco. She has also released her dance choreography workout DVDs, a series of fitness DVDs under the ‘DWTS ' line.
Burke and her ‘DWTS’ season 6 (March 2008) partner, actor Cristián de la Fuente, were the second runners-up in the contest. That year, she won the 'Viewer's Choice' award for the ''Favorite T.V. Personality'' at the 'Asian Excellence Awards.'
Burke and athlete Maurice Greene were among the top duos in ‘DWTS’ season 7, which premiered in September 2008. She was paired with actor Gilles Marini for the following season (March 2009), and they were the runners-up. Burke and her ninth season (September 2009) partner, former ‘U.S. House of Representatives’ majority leader Tom DeLay, had to quit the show due to fractures in DeLay’s feet.
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In 2009, she hosted an infomercial for her 'Disco Abs' workout system and got featured in a commercial for 'Jazzercise' dance exercise programs. Burke was also appointed as the spokesperson for 'Jazzercise.' That year, she launched her signature line of activewear called the 'Cheryl Burke Collection.'
Burke collaborated with professional ballroom dancer Tony Dovolani and the dance and music group 'Gipsy Kings' for a live performance for the 2010 animated feature 'Toy Story 3.' She released a Latin dance-inspired fitness video series with ballroom champion Maksim Chmerkovskiy.
In 2010, she was featured in the music video for Ne-Yo's 'Camera Phone.' In February 2011, Burke released her autobiography, 'Dancing Lessons: How I Found Passion and Potential on the Dance Floor and in Life.' The following year, the San Francisco mayor presented her the key to the city.
Burke partnered with former American football player Chad Ochocinco for season 10 of ‘DWTS.’ For the subsequent six seasons, she was paired with former Canadian–Bahamian basketball player Rick Fox, wrestler Chris Jericho, reality star Rob Kardashian, actor William Levy, former ‘DWTS’ champion Emmitt Smith, and comedian D.L. Hughley, respectively.
Several of Burke's performances in the 17th season were inspired by her season partner, media personality Jack Osbourne, who had struggled with multiple sclerosis. They were the second runners-up in that season.
For the following two seasons, Burke partnered with game show host and actor Drew Carey and soap star Antonio Sabàto Jr., respectively. Her contract with ‘DWTS’ expired after season 19, and she took a break from the show to pursue other projects.
In 2015, Burke launched her clothing line, 'Cee Bee,' with the home-shopping company ‘QVC’ as her retail partner. She was the first runner-up in the premiere season (May 2015) of the ‘NBC’ series 'I Can Do That.'
In 2016 and 2017, she performed in the live stage-show production 'Love on the Floor' in Japan, sharing the stage with ‘Olympic’ champion ice skaters. Burke was one of the creators of the show and also served as its co-producer with the live event company ‘IMG.’
Burke returned on ‘DWTS’ with its 23rd season (September 2016), partnering with ‘Olympic’ swimmer Ryan Lochte. Skipping the next season, she participated in the 25th season (September 2017), with former ‘NFL’ wide receiver Terrell Owens.
Burke made a VIP guest appearance in season 17 (September 2017) of 'Hell's Kitchen.' She replaced professional dancer and choreographer Abby Lee Miller on the 'Lifetime' reality show ‘Dance Moms.’
With her 27th season (September 2018) partner of ‘DWTS,’ actor Juan Pablo Di Pace, Burke scored five perfect scores, recording the highest overall average for the season. Despite that, the duo was voted out in the semi-finals. She had to withdraw from season 28 (September 2019) because her partner, former ‘NFL’ linebacker Ray Lewis, sustained a severe foot injury.
Burke has done commercials for 'Depend Silhouette' briefs, 'Impress Nails,' and 'Sargento Cheese.' She is a prolific motivational speaker and has delivered several sessions on body positivity, inspired by her real-life experiences. She also speaks about self-esteem and a healthy body image, at medical conferences, women's conventions, and schools.
Family & Personal Life
Burke married actor-singer Matthew Lawrence on May 23, 2019, in San Diego, California. The two had met in 2006, through Lawrence's brother, Joey. The two dated from 2007 to 2008 but broke up later. They reconciled in 2017, when their dating rumors surfaced. They eventually got engaged on May 3, 2018.
Burke was rumored to be dating Drew Lachey's brother, Nick, in May 2006. She has previously dated American model Maxwell Zagorski (from December 2008 to January 2010), Canadian former professional ice hockey forward Joffrey Lupul (in June 2012), American actor and amateur musician Josh Hopkins (from February to July 2014), and restauranteur J.T. Torregiani (from July 2014 to May 2015).
In her autobiography, Burke mentioned a family helper, later identified as Gerry Depaula, who had molested her and her sister in the past. Burke had given her statement against Depaula when she was 6, following which Depaula was sentenced to 24 years of imprisonment. He was released in 2008. She claims she is still scared of him. She revealed the entire incident in 2013, during an event for the 'CARE House of Oakland County,' one of the non-profits that she supports.
She used her collaborations with the brands she has endorsed to raise funds for 'Dress for Success,' a non-profit working for women empowerment. In March 2006, she participated in a fundraising campaign for the educational programs of the 'International School of the Peninsula' in Palo Alto and her sister's alma mater, the 'Menlo School.'
Burke has also often raised her voice against domestic violence and supported child-abuse victims.