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Dancing with the Stars AJ McLean Cheryl Burke ABC

Cheryl Burke has been on Dancing with the Stars since its second season as a professional dancer. In the time since starting, Burke has made some decisions, and one of them has been to quit drinking alcohol. The fan-favorite, who is back for the latest season with her celebrity partner, Backstreet Boys member AJ McLean, is explaining what happened after she decided to stop.

The pro-dancer has opened up, revealing that she quit drinking two years ago. This was during the 2018 season of Dancing with the Stars, when Cheryl Burke competed with Fuller House’s Juan Pablo di Pace in that year’s fall installment. While reflecting on her decision, Burke revealed that it brought a few personal changes to her life. On what has shifted, she told Good Morning America:

When you make a decision, a big decision, a life-altering decision, your friends will change. And, you know, some people will support it. Some people won't. And at the end of the day, you have to be okay with this. I noticed that my group of friends have changed since back in my partying and drinking days to now. I have a lot less friends but a lot more meaningful friends.

It sounds as though Cheryl Burke has learned that “less is more” when it comes to some of her friendships. The dancer acknowledged that she has fewer friends than she did during her party days, yet the ones she has now are “more meaningful.” The Dancing with the Stars pro-dancer has had some rough times on the competitive series, and the friends who have stuck around probably know about them all.

Nowadays, Burke is still busy competing in Dancing with the Stars’ current season. Ahead of Season 29, she got candid about how “hurt” she felt when Tom Bergeron was replaced, seeing as how Burke and Bergeron go way back because of their long tenures on the show. When you consider the timeline, it's possible that the former host is one of the friends who has stuck by her after the decision to quit drinking.

Cheryl Burke and her celebrity partner are still in the running for the mirror ball trophy. They made it past Disney Night, and their most recent performance – a cha-cha-cha to Backstreet Boys’ “Larger Than Life” scored the duo a 24 out of 30. After surviving what turned out to be a suspenseful elimination, Burke and McLean are heading into Week 5.

While she has come and gone through the years, Burke remains a bright light on Dancing with the Stars’ ever-evolving stage. She seems to be content with her decision to quit drinking, and it is certainly not hurting her in the ballroom. After finishing the 2019 season early due to her celebrity partner, NFL Hall of Famer Ray Lewis, suffering an unfortunate injury, she is back.

You can keep watching to see if Cheryl Burke and AJ McLean win the illustrious mirror ball trophy when new episodes of Dancing with the Stars air. Season 29 will continue with another new episode next Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. While you wait for it, check out what other shows are set to dance their way onto this fall’s schedule.

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