Thursday, March 26, 2009

Cheryl Burke short bio

Cheryl Bautista Burke (born May 3, 1984) is a two-time Emmy nominated professional dancer. She is known for being the first two-time champion of ABC's American version of Dancing with the Stars with celebrity dance partners Drew Lachey (February 2006) and Emmitt Smith (November 2006). In Season 4 she went to Week 9 with Beverly Hills 90210 star Ian Ziering. In Season 5 she was partnered with Las Vegas Legend Wayne Newton; they were eliminated in Week 3. In Season 6 she made it to the finals and placed 3rd with actor Cristian De Le Fuente. In Season 7 she was eliminated in Week 8 with partner Maurice Green, the former "World's Fastest Man.

Early life
Burke grew up in Atherton, California. Her family dances recreationally and has a dance floor at home. At age four, she began taking ballet lessons and performing locally. She then began ballroom dancing and decided to change her focus. She trained in both standard ballroom and Latin dances. She began competing at age 13. Cheryl has two sisters, Mandy and Nicole. Burke is a 2002 graduate of Menlo-Atherton High School.

Burke contends that dancing provides a medium for her to express her inner feelings and passion all the while maintaining focus and composure during extremely high-pressure situations.
Burke says that her dancing style is unlike anyone else's. She takes pride in being a "rule breaker" and feels that her greatest achievements in dancing are still to come.
Dancing with the Stars
Burke won her first championship with 98 Degrees member Drew Lachey in the second season. She won her second championship with retired football star Emmitt Smith in the third season.
Burke returned to the ballroom on March 19, 2007 for Season 4, partnered with actor Ian Ziering. Cheryl and Ian were eliminated in the semi-finals on May 15, 2007.[2]
She participated in a 38-city Dancing with the Stars Tour from December 19, 2006 to February 11, 2007. She also joined the second summer tour, which visited 24 cities between June 20, 2007 in Austin, Texas and July 24, 2007 in Vancouver, Canada. Her celebrity partner for both tours was Drew Lachey.
Cheryl competed on Season 5. Her partner was Las Vegas entertainer Wayne Newton. They were the third couple eliminated from the competition on October 9, 2007.
Cheryl recently participated with both Lachey & Newton in the Dancing with the Stars winter tour that kicked off December 18, 2007 in Seattle, Washington. The tour wrapped in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on February 10, 2008.[4]
Cheryl competed on Season 6 and was partnered with actor Cristián de la Fuente. They made it to the finals and on May 20, 2008, Cheryl and Cristián placed 3rd in the Season 6 competition.
Cheryl returned to the show for Season 7 with partner Maurice Greene. They were eliminated in Week 8 on November 11, 2008 and came in 5th place.
Cheryl returned to the show Season 8 where she is paired with actor Gilles Marini.

Awards and honors
2005 World Cup Professional Rising Star Latin Champion
2005 San Francisco Latin Champion
2005 Ohio Star Ball Rising Star Latin Champion
UK Championships
4th in U.S. in the "Under 21s."
Dancing with the Stars champion Season 2 with Drew Lachey
Dancing with the Stars champion Season 3 with Emmitt Smith
Two-time nominee: Prime Time Emmy 2006, Outstanding Choreography for Paso Doble and Outstanding Choreography for Freestyle; Burke is the youngest nominee to ever receive nominations in that category.
On October 20, 2007, Cheryl won the Role Model Award at the 7th Annual Filipino/American Library Gala. There are also reports that one of the professional choreographers - Wendy Johnson - worked on the dance that won Drew Lachey the title. For the record, Cheryl Burke's rep says that any insinuation that she gets outside help is a blatant lie, adding that Wendy Johnson is actually a very good friend of Cheryl's - she's known her since she was 11 or 12 years old.
Also, the rep says, Cheryl Burke "spends Tuesday night choreographing her routines in her apartment." In any case, an ABC source says it's not against the rules for the dancers to use outside help.

Personal life
Cheryl is of Filipino, Russian, and Irish descent. She lives in Los Angeles, and has recently returned to her childhood home in the Bay Area to support local schools. In March 2006, she helped the International School of the Peninsula (ISTP) in Palo Alto, CA, raise $250,000 for its educational programs. The following weekend, along with DWTS runner-up Jerry Rice, she helped Menlo School raise funds for their school. Her sister and his son both attend that school. A one-hour dance lesson in her house ballroom sold for $31,000.
She is currently dating Abercrombie & Fitch model Maxwell Zagorski; the couple was set up by Burke's friend Lance Bass.
In April 2008, Burke founded Cheryl Burke Dance in San Francisco, CA. The studio teaches a variety of dance styles, everything from ballroom to latin. In 2009, Burke acquired the dance studio "Starlite Ballroom" (formerly in Sunnyvale, CA) reopened as Cheryl Burke Dance Starlite in Mountain View, CA.

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