Health

Cheryl Burke Is Nervous About Competing on ‘DWTS’ Sober: ‘This Has Been Really Scary for Me’

Being sober means navigating not only the difficulties of sobriety itself but also facing the usual challenges in your life without alcohol. For Dancing With the Stars vet Cheryl Burke, that includes being with the nerves and insecurities that arise for her while filming the show, as she shared in an Instagram video posted shortly before this week’s season-30 premiere. 

“Confession time—this may be my 24th time doing #dwts, and even though I’m SO excited, I also have major nerves,” Burke, who revealed in September 2020 that she had decided to stop drinking two years prior, wrote in the caption. “If I said to you that I was just so excited and not nervous, that would be a lie,” Burke said in the video, which she filmed while driving to the DWTS set on Monday.

“Of course I’m nervous. Of course I have my thoughts getting the best of me,” Burke said. “Hopefully by 5 p.m., when we shoot here in L.A., that’s not the case. But I am nervous. I am feeling insecure, and I am scared.” Burke continued, “I know you guys are gonna be like, ‘Why [are you scared]? You’re fabulous!’ Which I thank you for so much. But I want you to know, since being sober, this has been really scary for me.”

Sobriety has made Burke more aware of the stress she puts on herself while competing in DWTS, she explained in the caption. “Doing this show sober has really made me realize my every insecurity and the amount of pressure I put on myself, which is tough,” Burke wrote. In the video she elaborated on some of those anxieties she has around competing. “To say that I don’t have these insecurities—my body dysmorphia, my feeling of wanting to throw up or finding the nearest exit—is definitely a lie,” she said. “The pressure that I put on myself sometimes is so intense, and it’s just not realistic.”

Burke, who has previously opened up to fans about the tough parts of being sober, thanked her audience for their positivity and support, and said that being candid with them about the hard things is important to her. “I just wanted to let you guys know that I’m human,” she said in the video. “I’m just here to tell ya that I am freaking nervous.” In the caption, she added, “Just wanted to be honest with you all because I know sometimes it can look like this stuff is easy for us, but that wouldn’t be real.” 

Along with the nerves, Burke is feeling a number of positive emotions right now. She said she is “so excited” to be participating in another season of DWTS and “really, honestly, grateful for this opportunity.” Burke added, “You know I do this because I love it.”

In a backstage interview later that night, Burke spoke about some of the upsides of going through the DWTS experience sober, including being more in touch with her feelings as they unfold. “It’s been interesting for me to actually feel the feelings that are happening,” Burke told Entertainment Tonight. Burke also shared that she has a renewed sense of appreciation for the show. “It’s almost been a whole new experience, in a good way,” she said. “It’s almost like I have a new love and passion for Dancing With the Stars, because [I’m] seeing everything for how it is, and it’s really nice.”

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