Cheryl Burke: a stand-up gal

 

There's more to Cheryl Burke than sultry dance moves. When she's not in the studio shaking her hips, the two-time Dancing with the Stars champ (eliminated earlier this month from the hit show)...

There's more to Cheryl Burke than sultry dance moves.

When she's not in the studio shaking her hips, the two-time Dancing with the Stars champ (eliminated earlier this month from the hit show) dedicates her time to Tell A Gal Pal, a program that encourages people to speak up about domestic violence.

We chatted with Burke about her own experience with abuse and how she keeps in such great shape.

Tell us about your relationship with Tell A Gal Pal.

``The program encourages people to talk openly about domestic violence to increase awareness and show support for survivors. It also encourages those in abusive relationships to tell someone who can help you get out of your situation.''

Can you talk a little bit about your experience with domestic violence?

``It's something that happened when I was a teenager and it took me a really long time to come to terms with it and to be able to talk about it without being ashamed. The details of what happened are not something that I wish to share right now.''

What were the biggest surprises of DWTS this season?

``For me, the biggest was that Rick Fox would be so agile and capable for such a large man.''

Is it hard to dance in high heels?

``I feel like I was born in high heels! I normally wear a 3.5-inch heel. [This season] I switched between four inches and my normal dance heels.''

What do you think of the remaining competition?

``There are some really great dancers in the cast and everyone left has the chance to win for different reasons. While certain cast members have been named front-runners, I think to rule anyone out at this point would be a mistake.''

You credit Jazzercise as one of the things that helps you stay in shape. Does it really work?

``I remember when I was a kid my mom used to go to their classes and watching how fun it looked. It's still fun and it's upbeat and modern. It really is a great cardio workout with elements of dance, so it's perfect for me.

For information on Tell A Gal Pal, go to www.click toempower.org/tell-a-gal-pal.aspx. -- MICAELA HOOD

Speak Up!

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