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Anyone who has seen "Dancing With The Stars" at least once has seen the lovely and talented Cheryl Burke. Cheryl is a two-time champion of "DWTS," and she is a fan favorite year after year. She has a talent that is unequaled on the dance floor. She has a big, bright smile, but that smile has been hiding a secret. Cheryl's secret is about her childhood and she has finally opened up about a part of her early life. Cheryl was molested as a child.
The person who did the molesting was a friend of the Burke family. Cheryl did what many would like to do but are unable to do, she testified against the person and her testimony helped put him away for almost twenty years.
The molester was a mailman and he began molesting her when she was 5-years old. Her parents broke up when she was a baby and the attention she received from her molester seemed normal to her. She had a lot of misgivings regarding testifying against him. But with years of therapy she learned that what he did to her was wrong, that it wasn't her fault.
Cheryl Burke has co-written a book, 'Dancing Lessons'. In the book she talks about the molestation, as well as physical abuse she endured from two previous boyfriends.
The confident Cheryl was very upset in 2008, when a photo of her was published that made her look heavy, as reported by People.com. Burke says she had gained maybe 5 or 10 pounds during the show's hiatus. With the nasty comments and strange looks from people she became self-conscious and almost tried to starve herself to drop those few extra pounds.
She did lose the weight and learned how to eat healthy in the process. Dancing is a very good form of exercise! She is back in tip-top shape and dancing even better than before. It would be nice to see her as a three-time champion of "Dancing With The Stars" very soon.
When we watch dancers such as Cheryl Burke week after week, we tend to forget they are human. We forget that they have a life away from the costumes and music. They have to constantly be 'up' in looks and in actions. Everything they do, good or bad, is picked up by the press. What they do on the show looks easy, but it is very hard work and they have to be very disciplined to be good at their jobs.
As we await the next Season of "Dancing With The Stars", remember that they are dancers second, and human beings first.