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Cheryl Burke: Snapshot

Name
Cheryl Burke
Date of Birth
May 03, 1984
Birth Place
San Francisco, Calif.
As the first breakout star of ABC's Dancing with the Stars, pro hoofer Cheryl Burke proved that ballroom dancing (even with its obscene amounts of sequins) could be sexy – and entertaining.

The back-to-back DWTS title winner began studying ballet at age 4 before competing in the world of ballroom at 13. After becoming the World Cup Professional Rising Star Latin Champion in 2005, Burke joined the second season of DWTS, winning her first disco-ball trophy with celeb partner Drew Lachey. The following season, she won her second title with NFL legend Emmitt Smith.

Burke, who dated actor Matthew Lawrence for a year, shot down reports of having an affair with Lachey and fought back when bloggers criticized her weight.

Cheryl Burke: Video

Star Talk

Time is running out before the tour kickoff, and Dancing with the Stars champ Cheryl Burke works on some last-minute moves. (03:51)

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Cheryl Burke: Five Fun Facts

  1. Cheryl Burke prefers wearing thongs, telling Women's Wear Daily that she is "more of a mesh and lace type of girl."
  2. When Cheryl Burke first joined Dancing with the Stars, she was camera shy and credited her first partner Drew Lachey for making her more confident. "He would help me out with the cameras," she told the New York Times.
  3. Having ''lived in a bubble as a kid,'' Cheryl Burke didn't know anything about partners Wayne Newton and Emmitt Smith before dancing with them on the shows.
  4. Besides sequins and glitter, Cheryl Burke has one other necessity for looking good on Dancing with the Stars: weekly self-tanning sessions. "It makes me look toned and helps me feel less naked," she told PEOPLE.
  5. At 13, Cheryl Burke competed for the first time, and her costume refused to stay up. "You could see half my nipple," she told WWD.

Cheryl Burke: Biography

1980s

Cheryl Burke

Teeny Ballerina

Growing up in San Francisco, Burke begins ballet lessons at age 4, but eventually changes her focus. "[At first] I thought ballroom dancing was just for old people," Burke tells Los Angeles Magazine. "But at 11, I went to a competition and saw the costumes, heard the music, and loved that the dancers had partners. It was the complete opposite of ballet, but in a good way." By 13, Burke is competing professionally.

2006

Cheryl Burke

January

Dancing with Drew

After becoming the World Cup Professional Rising Star Latin Champion, Burke joins the second season of ABC's Dancing with the Stars. Partnered with former 98 Degree boy-bander Drew Lachey, Burke wins her first DWTS title, beating wrestler Stacy Keibler and former NFL player Jerry Rice. "The show has completely changed my life," Burke tells USA Today.

Cheryl Burke

September

Another Disco Ball

In the third season of DWTS, Burke is partnered with NFL great Emmitt Smith. Although former Saved by the Bell star Mario Lopez puts up a good fight, Burke and Smith win the Dancing title. "I am so proud of this trophy and I am proud to share it with Cheryl," Smith tells PEOPLE. The back-to-back title winner will have less luck with season 4 partner Ian Ziering, with whom she is eliminated in the semi-finals round.

Read More on Cheryl Burke's Life

Photo Credits

Top Left: Courtesy of Cheryl Burke

BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Courtesy or Cheryl Burke; Adam Larkey/ABC; Adam Larkey/ABC

Edited by Julia Wang

Cheryl Burke

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