Cheryl Burke took her final bow as a pro dancer on “Dancing With the Stars” Monday night – and compared the feeling of retiring to her divorce from Matthew Lawrence.
“I am overwhelmed. I’ve been trying to hold back the tears, I would say, because I wanted to really perform the best I could. Now with all of that behind me, it’s bittersweet … but I have to just trust my intuition,” Burke, 38, exclusively told Page Six in the ballroom.
“[It’s been] so hard. This is like another type of divorce, but an amicable one,” she continued.
“I do know though that I love to evolve as a human being. I think for me, I’ve done 26 seasons as a professional dancer and I know I’m more than capable to do other things as well.”
While the “Dance Moms” alum told us her current passion is raising mental health awareness, she also addressed whether she’d be down to return to the dance competition series as a judge following Len Goodman’s emotional retirement.
“I never thought in a million years I would retire the same season as Len Goodman,” she exclaimed. “Honestly, I would love to evolve within the [’DWTS’] family, but if that doesn’t happen? All good. I had to do this for me.”
Monday night’s Season 31 finale concluded with TikTok star Charli D’Amelio taking home the mirrorball trophy with her pro partner, Mark Ballas. The two beat out fellow competitors Gabby Windey and Val Chmerkovskiy (2nd place), Wayne Brady and Witney Carson (3rd place) and Shangela and Gleb Savchenko (4th place).
“It’s deserved! I called it from the beginning,” Burke said of D’Amelio and Ballas’ win. “I mean, Mark is such a creative genius. I am so proud of him. It’s not easy taking a break and coming back.
“I just love that Mark came back with a vengeance, and with someone who’s so sweet like Charli,” she added. “Very well deserved. I’m so happy for both of them.”
As previously reported, Burke filed for divorce from Lawrence, 42, in February after nearly three years of marriage. She cited “irreconcilable differences” and listed their date of separation as Jan. 7, 2022, in court documents obtained by Page Six at the time.
The two first met when the actor’s older brother, Joey Lawrence, competed on Season 3 of “DWTS” with pro dancer Edyta Śliwińska. They dated for a year in 2007 before calling it quits for the first time, but ultimately reignited their romance in 2017.
Joey then proposed in May 2018 and the two tied the knot a year later at the Fairmont Grand del Mar in San Diego, Calif.
Since filing for divorce, Burke has been vocal about the many ups and downs of moving on and beginning her new chapter.
“At the end of the day, you know, when I close my eyes and go to bed, it is kind of lonely,” she said on a June episode of her “Burke in the Game” podcast, noting that she was “open” to start dating again, “slowly but surely.”
She added, “I wouldn’t mind having a text relationship with someone or even just someone to flirt with.”