"Dancing with the Stars" professional dancer - and two-time mirrorball champion - Cheryl Burke joins AccessHollywood.com as our behind-the-scenes celebrity blogger for Season 18 of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars."
Here is Cheryl's first post...
This is my 17th season of "Dancing with the Stars" and it's pretty crazy just to know that I spent all of my twenties on this show, officially. I started when I was 20!
Every season is a new experience -- you meet some interesting characters and some of them become lifelong friends and some of them inspire you in different ways. Last season, I think I made a couple of lifelong friends, like Jack Osbourne and Leah Remini. That last season was a very special season and I think this season is interesting. You've got different characters.
You've got sports players, you've got the Olympians, you've got Drew Carey, who's such a huge name, which was kind of cool to have someone like Drew, because sometimes I have to Google who my partners are. He's actually someone that I actually know, so it was really cool to find out that he was going to be my partner.
I didn't know how much dance experience he was going to have. The last comedian I had was D.L. Hughley, who didn't have a lot of rhythm, so I was a little bit scared coming into it, like, "Oh, is this guy going to be able to dance?"
Drew has such a hectic schedule. "The Price Is Right" shoots three days a week and then we rehearse late at night. He is definitely gonna be really busy and on top of that, he's also doing standup, so we're going to be travelling a few weekends here and there.
But I think people just love him from "The Drew Carey Show" to "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" I think his audience - it's definitely, I think, the same audience for "Dancing with the Stars," so I just hope they support us. And as far as the reason why I think Drew is doing this is to really motivate people to get up and move -- he's lost like 85 lbs. and he's done that through being active and running marathons and just challenging himself every single day. Doing this show is really going to be an inspiration for people that want to lose weight or stay healthy and for people that are middle-aged. Drew's 55 and you're still able to be just as active as someone in their twenties.
We're doing the foxtrot [on Monday] and right now it's just teaching him how to dance. He has zero dance experience, except for some of the funny stuff he's done on "The Drew Carey Show," and then really working on his posture. He's got like a little hump in his back, so it's really important to maintain his posture and frame and to really make him look smooth. He is a performer. I just want him to really bring that character out on the dance floor. But you never know how people are when they perform in front of a live audience, so you really get to know the person after Week 1.
I'm interested to see how Drew is going to absorb all the, 'lights, camera, action,' basically, and then you'll start to realize, "OK, he's a performer, or he gets freaked out when the cameras turn on." So it's going to be interesting to see come Monday night how he reacts to everything because it's so different doing a live show and doing something that you can say, "Take 2" or "Take 3."
I feel like Drew's one of the most well-known contestants, so hopefully his fans will pull us through.
Our team name is Drew Crew, so vote for Drew Crew!
My very first season of "Dancing with the Stars," I danced with Drew Lachey and our team was Drew Crew, so Drew Carey better not let that team name down!
-- Cheryl Burke
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