Cheryl Burke Reveals Struggles With Body Dysmorphia During DWTS Tenure

Key Takeaways:

* Former “Dancing with the Stars” pro, Cheryl Burke, recently opened up about her struggles with body dysmorphia.
* Burke reported feeling “too fat” for television, particularly during her transition into womanhood.
* Despite gaining a few pounds during the show’s hiatus, Burke faced criticism about her weight.
* The dancer now uses somatic therapy and a gratitude journal, but admits the healing process is ongoing.
* Burke’s battles with insecurities have persisted after her days as a competitive dancer.

In a profound revelation, Cheryl Burke, the 26-season veteran professional dancer of “Dancing with the Stars,” admitted to experiencing body dysmorphia and the judgment that she was “too fat” for television. During an episode of the “Amy and T.J. Podcast,” with hosts Amy Robach and T.J. Holmes, Burke shared her ongoing battle against negative body perception and self-image.

Darkness Behind the Dance Show Glam

As Burke conversed with the podcast hosts, she nostalgically referred to her grueling rehearsals for DWTS. She shed light on the necessity of strict dieting due to the show’s less than forgiving outfit sizes. This opened up her commentary on body dysmorphia – a condition she fights against to date.

Burke recalled her early days on the dance show, starting at a tender age of 21, where she felt a severe pressure to maintain a particular image under the harsh glare of public scrutiny. The undue stress on appearance became more challenging, especially during her transition into womanhood leading her to gain weight. Burke noted a distinct period during DWTS’s seventh season, when criticism about her weight mounted, leaving a deep impact on her mind and heart.

Her description of these events and feelings wasn’t aimed at specific individuals, but rather the collective audience. Burke sympathized with her then co-performers, saying, “Naturally, we all gain a few pounds during breaks. However, compared to other professional women on the show, I am curvier.”

Healing, But a Long Road Still Ahead

As Burke delved deeper, she confessed how gaining even a few pounds during the show would inevitably become significant talk. Although nobody openly suggested she needed to lose weight, the dancer battles persistent insecurities, attributing her hyper-awareness of her appearance to the competitive dancing industry.

She remembered feeling guilty towards the wardrobe team, where her insecurities seemed to manifest the most vividly. Foundationally impacting her mood, these insecurities even disrupted her relationships with her dance partners.

While Burke is determined to overcome this challenge, she acknowledged it as a “forever process.” For the past ten years, she has actively participated in therapy to manage the emotional strain caused by her dysmorphia. Burke revealed her experiences have been a continuous learning curve. “Am I still there? I’m not gonna say I’m fully recovered, but I’m definitely healing,” she maintains resilience in her journey towards self-acceptance and love.

Despite the hurdles, Burke is finding ways to shift her focus to self-respect and self-love. Utilizing somatic therapy and maintaining a gratitude journal as positive tools, she remains determined to retrain her brain from predominantly picking out negatives.

Reporting back from her dance competitive days, Cheryl Burke’s candid confession directs light onto how the entertainment industry’s relentless pressure on body image can impact the wellbeing of even the most celebrated stars. Her ongoing healing process emphasizes the importance of self-acceptance and mental health awareness, a subject matter often shadowed in the glittering limelight of showbiz.

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