Cheryl Burke, who is starring on the new season of Dance Moms, opened up to Us Weekly and other reporters about how the girls and their moms are reacting to former instructor Abby Lee Miller’s prison sentencing.
The 33-year-old said that things have been going “great” since she took over the reality show for season 8. “The girls are so precious, and I feel like they are traumatized from what has happened with Abby, and it’s important for me to still be strict and do what I do,” she said at the taping for the Monday, May 15, episode of Dancing With the Stars, where she performed a routine from her upcoming “Love on the Floor” dance tour. “I expect nothing but the best from the girls, but it’s also important for me to make them feel confident about themselves because they are all beautiful and talented.”
Miller, 50, was sentenced to 366 days behind bars on Tuesday, May 9, for bankruptcy fraud. While it upset the girls, Burke said it hasn’t ruffled the moms on the show. “We wrapped a couple weeks ago, but I think the girls are trying to focus on them[selves]. I know the moms are not sad about it!” she quipped.
The former DWTS pro said there will still be drama with the moms, but she feuds with them “in a different way” than Miller did. “My mom was a crazy dance mom herself, and the hardest part is to separate from yourself,” she said. “If the moms want to be there on the couch talking and gossiping, then that’s fine, but they can’t just barge into my room. They have to ask for permission.”
She added that although the moms have been enjoying her teaching style, some are overly involved. “They just get on my nerves sometimes,” she said. “They just need to stay in their lane.”
Burke also responded to Miller’s comments that her replacement will be “treated differently” by the Dance Moms production team. “That’s BS! There is no way,” Burke said. “This was a quick turnaround for them to have me be a part of Dance Moms, and I think everyone has been treated equally on that show. It really is about getting the job done, and it’s bigger than numbers and budget and if they can give you a car service. You want to do it for the girls. It depends where your heart is.”
Miller previously told Us Weekly that no one from the original Dance Moms cast has reached out to her since her sentencing. “Nobody original from the show [has reached out to me],” she told Us at the Sunday, May 14, premiere party for E!’s What Happens at the Abbey in Los Angeles. “You know, they’ve made a lot of money over the years and not a peep! And no one from the production company, no way.”
The choreographer added that she does have the support of several current Dance Mom cast members, though. “Yolanda and Elliana [Walmsley], Stacey and Lilly [Ketchman], and Jaime and Maesi [Caes], and Brynn and Ashlee [Allen] reached out,” Miller told Us. “And my own students, you know, of course, that are at my studio, but didn’t get the pleasure and the money and the perks of being on a television show, but have paid me since they were 3 years old and are very loyal customers and loyal students.”