Cheryl Burke with Juan Pablo Di Pace. Courtesy ABC

Cheryl Burke on Being an Introvert and Finding Her Voice Through Dance

The last thing you'd expect to hear about a 22-season "Dancing with the Stars" veteran is that she's actually a serious introvert—but that's who I am!

When I was young, I was really quiet and found it hard to express myself with words. But sharing emotions through movement finally brought me out of my shell. Still, it wasn't easy to be vulnerable. Classes became like therapy sessions for me, and my teachers became like life coaches who I turned to for everything.


On "Dancing with the Stars," I've become the teacher and can finally reciprocate that for other people. Every partner that I've had on the show has a different goal. Some want to lose weight, some want to gain confidence, some want to make a loved one proud. It's always about so much more than just teaching the steps.

When you're forming a partnership through dance, you have to build trust. With so many of my partners, I've become their rock. They can know the steps like the back of their hand, but still feel insecure, and we have to get down to what's really making them feel that way. It's everything I went through growing up, and it's been so rewarding to share my experience.

The quiet, introverted little girl that I used to be is still there. But the performer you see on TV is the expres­sive artist that dance allows me to be. Dance will always be my purpose and my passion. I just have to keep growing, learning and finding more ways to help people through dance and movement, the same way that it's helped me.

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Topical Pain Relievers Are the Next Item on Your Dancer Self-Care Supply List

With the stressors of the pandemic still lingering more than one year later, self-care is, rightfully, a priority for everyone right now. But dancers have always known the importance of keeping their bodies and minds as healthy as possible. After all, your body is your instrument, and as we make our long-awaited returns to the studio and stage, finding self-care strategies that work for you will be crucial to getting back up to speed—mentally and physically—with your rigorous performing and training schedule.

Dancers have a myriad of options to choose from when it comes to treating minor ailments like soreness, swelling and bruising. One that's quickly gaining popularity are topical pain relievers, which provide targeted, temporary relief of minor pain. These days, there's more than just your tried-and-true Tiger Balm on the shelves. From CBD lotions to warming gels and patches, finding the product that's right for you can be as difficult as finding the perfect Rockette-red shade of lipstick…but even more beneficial to your dance career.

Read on for our breakdown of some of the most common ingredients to look out for in the topical pain relief aisle.

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May 2021