Dancing with the Stars professional dancer Cheryl Burke may be hanging up her dancing shoes. The longtime pro admitted she’s considering leaving the ABC series soon as she revealed her plans to retire and go out on top.
Speaking during the November 2 episode of the Chicks in the Office podcast, the 36-year-old admitted she thinks it’s almost time for her to stop competing on the show.
“My hips don’t lie, and I’m starting to get tendonitis. For a woman, as far as ballroom dancing competitively goes, normally in their 30s [they retire]. I’m 36, so it’s time to hang up those shoes,” she said, per Us Weekly.
Cheryl expressed her desire to leave before her body can no longer do the impressive moves she’s famous for.
“‘Oh, here comes Cheryl doing the same choreography, just going slow but in her head, she thinks she’s going that fast,'” she joked, admitting she doesn’t want to be that “oldie” who outstays their welcome.
“I don’t want to… be a dancer and have my partner having to be like, ‘Can’t lift.’ There’s a time and a place for it all.”
Cheryl didn’t reveal exactly when she may call it quits, though it’s possible she could out on a high after the current season. The star has repeatedly received high scores with her current partner, Backstreet Boys singer AJ McLean, who is one of this year’s fan favorites to win the mirrorball trophy.
But even when she quits competing, she hinted that doesn’t mean she wants to leave the show completely. Cheryl admitted she’d like to be a judge, joking that having four on the panel would be “fine” and they could each have “five seconds” to speak.
“It would be really great for me just to use my mouth and not my body,” she explained.
The series has seen former professionals head behind the judges table before, with Julianne Hough and brother Derek Hough both sitting alongside Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, and Len Goodman.
Cheryl’s one of the few stars to stick with the show since the early seasons. She first appeared on DWTS on Season 2 when she won with Drew Lachey and won again the following round with Emmitt Smith. She danced every year through to Season 19 before taking a few cycles off in 2014, though she’s since appeared intermittently since 2016.
During the November 2 episode, Cheryl and AJ performed an emotional dance that they dedicated to anyone who’s suffered with substance abuse, as both have struggled in the past. They danced a rumba to “Way Down We Go” by KALEO.