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DWTS Pro Cheryl Burke Turns 37 — A Glimpse into Her Personal Life Away from the Dance Floor

Manuela Cardiga
May 03, 2021
10:41 A.M.

Dancer Cheryl Burke has been married for a year to actor Matthew Lawrence, best known for his roles in "Mrs. Doubtfire" and "Boy Meets World."

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Professional dancer Cheryl Burke, the only one up until now to win "DWTS" twice, and consecutively is now coming back to the show after her recent marriage to actor Matthew Lawrence.

The couple's love story is unusual and started when they first met over a decade ago. They started a romance which fell apart, and for the next nine years, they didn't see each other.

Matthew Lawrence and Cheryl Burke attend the 25th Annual Race To Erase MS Gala in 2018 in Beverly Hills | Source: Getty Images

Matthew Lawrence and Cheryl Burke attend the 25th Annual Race To Erase MS Gala in 2018 in Beverly Hills | Source: Getty Images

CHERYL BURKE

Burke was born in May 1984 to a family of talented dancers. At the young age of four, she began learning ballet and later focused on professional ballroom dancing. When the performer turned 13, the competitions started.

Although most known for her stints at “Dancing With The Stars (DWTS),” Burke also appeared in other on-screen productions such as “The Sweet Life of Zack and Cody” and “Toy Story 3.”

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In 2008, she furthered her passion for dancing by opening her dance studio in San Francisco. While her career may have been well, her luck in love was on and off with Lawrence, whom she rekindled flames with, in 2017.

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ROMANCE INTERRUPTED

Burke and Lawrence stumbled on their way to the altar. Their first meeting was through "DWTS," when Matthew's brother, actor Joey Lawrence, participated in the 2006 season.

Burke's decision came shortly after her husband proposed.

Joey introduced Matthew, also a former child star best known for his roles in "Blossom" and "Mrs. Doubtfire," to Burke and the attraction was immediate. The couple started dating, but after a year, they broke up. It would be another nine years before they connected again.

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MATCHMAKING SISTER

Knowing that Burke still harbored a secret yen for Matthew, her sister persuaded the dancer to send her ex a text message. Burke reluctantly did, never imagining he would respond. He did, and before long, the two were dating again.

Everything was going well. Burke and Matthew were in love, so much so that the dancer kept waiting for that magic moment when he would propose. Then Burke's birthday came around, and though she received dozens of bouquets of flowers, cards, and messages congratulating her, none were from Matthew.

Later that night, Matthew handed her a letter, which Burke admits she thought might indicate that he was breaking up with her. Instead, as she was reading it, a love song started playing, and Matthew fell to one knee and asked for her hand in marriage.

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FAIRYTALE WEDDING

The ring he presented Burke with was very special. It had been made (with her family's connivance) from the diamond ring Burke's late father had given her mother when he had proposed. Stephen Burke had passed away in March 2018 at the age of 67, two months before Matthew proposed.

On May 23, 2019, Burke walked down the aisle in San Diego, California, in a supremely elegant off-the-shoulder Romona Keveza wedding gown with a cathedral train, on the arm of her stepfather, Bob Wolf.

Her best friend, actress Leah Remini, was her matron of honor, and her bridesmaids were Burke's fellow dancer Kym Johnson Herjavec, and her matchmaking sister, Nicole Wolf.

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Matthew's best men were his brothers, actors Andrew Lawrence and Joey Lawrence. The 200 guests included Burke's "DWTS" costars Jack Osbourne, Emmitt Smith, and Kristi Yamaguchi. For Matthew, the most nerve-wracking moment of them all was the wedding dance. He confessed:

“I messed up in every possible way. I almost fell on top of her and pulled my hamstring to prevent that from happening. But we pulled it off!”

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FUTURE PLANS

After "wasting" nearly a decade, Matthew and Burke, now 40 and 36 respectively, are eager to make up for lost time. Burke revealed:

“I want to have kids. [When we got back together] it was like, ‘Let’s not waste any time. Time’s a tickin’!’ "

Burke, who has danced on DWTS for an incredible 20 seasons, will be returning to the dance floor in September 2020. ABC has announced that season 29 will premiere on September 29, with Tyra Banks as host.

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ABC also announced that hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews would no longer be part of the DWTS cast. The names of the competing celebrities for season 29 is still a secret.

Unfortunately, Burke and her celebrity dance partner for season 28, NFL linebacker Ray Lewis, had to bow out after Lewis tore a tendon on his foot and had to undergo surgery.

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SOBRIETY UPDATE

With everything going well in her life, Burke felt it was necessary to share her journey towards sobriety with the public. In 2020, the professional dancer reached a milestone as she celebrated two years without alcohol.

During a podcast, Burke revealed that she went cold turkey on quitting after being exposed to an alcoholic father. Burke's decision came shortly after her husband proposed and it has made a significant change in her life.

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