Dancing With the Stars Pro Cheryl Burke Reveals She's 2 Years Sober

Dancing With the Stars pro dancer Cheryl Burke was happy to be partnered with Backstreet Boys alum AJ McLean as they both are leading sober lives.

By Samantha Schnurr Sep 29, 2020 5:09 PMTags
Watch: AJ McLean Joins "Dancing With the Stars" Season 29

When it comes to her honesty, Dancing With the Stars pro Cheryl Burke gets a 10. 

Fans mostly know the longtime ballroom dancer as one of the pros on ABC's hit reality competition show. But, the star sparked headlines for a personal revelation she shared during a new interview on the LadyGang podcast: She's been sober for the past two years.  

The topic of her sobriety arose after co-host Keltie Knight brought up Burke's partner AJ McLean and his own ongoing sobriety journey.

"That's why I really wanted AJ," Burke said, "because I'm like, for him to be maybe partnered with someone who is just, like, still fresh in the scene or likes to go out, I was a little worried just as a friend in a way...But, then I'm glad we're partnered up together."

As for her own path to sobriety, Burke clarified she had not entered Alcoholics Anonymous. "It was just a decision that I made for myself," she said. "And it was when Matt [Lawrence] and I got engaged and it was during that engagement party that we were just like—or that I was like, he didn't even know—I was just like, I was done."

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The death of her father two months earlier seemingly had an impact on her decision. "My father passed away—and then my dad was an alcoholic—so either I was gonna crash and burn and check myself into rehab or I was gonna just quit cold turkey," she shared. "That's just my personality. It's either black or white."

Meanwhile, before McLean was announced as one of the competitors on this season of Dancing With the Stars, he teased fans about a surprise in store while sharing the lifestyle changes he was taking to prepare.  

"I've been training really hard for the last five months…I've been on a very strict diet—grain-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, no sodas of any kind…completely sober almost nine months," he told fans in an Instagram video. "I can't tell you guys exactly what yet, but I'm doing this for two reasons: one, to get in the best shape of my life, and to be healthy and to be happy both physically and mentally and emotionally, and there's something else coming up. Can't tell you what it is, but believe me, you'll know why based on that."