Cheryl Burke has already stepped into Abby Lee Miller’s dancing shoes. Burke will replace the Dance Moms star on the long-running Lifetime reality show, according to People. Cheryl Burke has already started filming an episode of Dance Moms just days after Miller announced her resignation in a scathing social media post.
While Miller claimed she had been “manipulated and disrespected” by Dance Moms producers, a rep for the 50-year-old reality star said she was blindsided by the news that Burke, 32, has already been cast as her replacement. But an insider told People that “Cheryl is happy, and the moms and girls are excited too.”
Cheryl Burke competed as a pro dancer on 19 seasons of Dancing With the Stars and won two consecutive Mirrorball Trophies with celebrity partners Drew Lachey (Season 2) and Emmitt Smith (Season 3). Cheryl last competed on DWTS Season 23 last year with Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte.
A post shared by Cheryl Burke (@cherylburke) on
Cheryl Burke has not officially commented on her new reality TV gig, but she did post a teaser on her social media accounts. Cheryl posted a photo of her shoes with the caption: “Back to work! Dance Dance Dance.”
Back to work! Dance Dance Dance ???? pic.twitter.com/JMqBJGDEcU
— Cheryl Burke (@CherylBurke) March 29, 2017
Cheryl joins the Dance Moms cast as Miller faces up to two and a half years in prison after pleading guilty in a bankruptcy fraud case. The longtime Dance Moms choreographer posted a message to followers on Instagram, explaining that she has been “manipulated,” “disrespected,” and “used” by male producers who “have never taken a dance lesson in their lives and treat women like dirt.”
The majority of children that follow me may be fast asleep, however now is the critical time to make the following statement: I WILL NO LONGER TAKE PART IN DANCE MOMS. FOR THE PAST SIX YEARS/ SEVEN SEASONS I HAVE ASKED, BEGGED, AND EVEN DEMANDED CREATIVE CREDIT FOR ALL THE IDEAS, AWARD WINNING ROUTINES, THEMES, AND COSTUMING – TO NO AVAIL! TODAY, I WAS SO PROUD THAT I WENT AGAINST THE PRODUCER'S IDEA (ONCE AGAIN) TO ENTER A COMMAND PERFORMANCE OF ONE OF MY FAVORITE NUMBERS… "WHERE HAVE ALL THE CHILDREN GONE?" ALONG WITH THREE BEAUTIFUL SOLOS! I don't have a problem working with any kid, I love children and have dedicated my life to making other people's children successful! I JUST HAVE A PROBLEM WITH BEING MANIPULATED, DISRESPECTED, AND USED – DAY IN AND DAY OUT BY MEN WHO NEVER TOOK A DANCE LESSON IN THEIR LIVES AND TREAT WOMEN LIKE DIRT! #dancemoms #season7 #ALDC #aldcalways #newbeginnings #aldcla #alllovedancecourage
A post shared by Abby Lee Miller (@therealabbylee) on
TMZ posted a video of Cheryl Burke headed inside the 8 Count Dance Academy in Los Angeles to start working with her new students. While Burke didn’t comment when paparazzi asked her if she would do a better job on the show than Abby, parents of the show’s young dancers couldn’t contain their excitement over Burke’s new role on the show. One mom revealed that Abby left their team “weeks ago,” and said, “it’s time to move on.” The happy group of parents also noted Cheryl’s impressive resume that could really take their kids to the next level.
In an interview with E! News, which can be seen below, Miller threw shade at Burke, said she would be “thrilled” to see the popular pro dancer with her impressive, high-profile career “step down to this” and go through what she went through every day.
“If she had to go what I go through every day, I would be flipping thrilled that somebody else in the entertainment industry who has the career that she has had on Dancing With the Stars, with the costume makers on Dancing With the Stars, with the producers on Dancing With the Stars, and then had to step down to this?” Miller said. ” Oh, honey.”
The former Dance Moms star admitted she thinks Lifetime will treat Cheryl Burke much differently than they did her.
“I think they will treat her differently,” she said.
“I think everybody will be on their toes. I think that Lifetime will pour a ton of money into advertising because they want to prove that I was nothing and I was nobody and they saved me.”
Even though Cheryl Burke has now taken her job, Miller told People she hasn’t ruled out a return to the show that she helmed for nearly seven years.
“This was a long time coming for me,” the choreographer told People, admitting that “no silver watch” was sent to her after she announced her exit from the show. The controversial reality star added that she is open to returning to Dance Moms if things change.
“Never say never,” she said.
“It just sickens me when people get creative credit with our ideas. A lot of things would have to change. Just the way they pull things out of their butts the last minute and it makes the costuming exhausting. They want me to come to meetings, pre-production, but on my own dime.”
While it’s possible Miller could make a return to Dance Moms after her fraud case and possible jail sentence play out, it’s no secret that Cheryl Burke has long been looking for the perfect post-Dancing With the Stars reality TV project. Burke previously told People that she would love to star on The Bachelorette.
“My dating record hasn’t been great the past couple of years so if I have a chance to go on [The Bachelorette] I will,” Cheryl told the magazine. “I’m getting old, you know, so it’s something of interest to me.”
Take a look at the video below to see Abby Lee Miller talking about Cheryl Burke replacing her on Dance Moms.
[Featured Image by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for People’s Choice Awards]