'DWTS' pro Cheryl Burke reflects on 'life-altering decision' to get sober

Cheryl Burke discussed her sobriety and how her Dancing with the Stars partner AJ McLean has inspired her. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Cheryl Burke discussed her sobriety and how her "Dancing with the Stars" partner AJ McLean has inspired her. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 5 (UPI) -- Dancing with the Stars pro Cheryl Burke is looking back on her "life-altering decision" to get sober.

The 36-year-old professional dancer and television personality discussed her sobriety during Monday's episode of Good Morning America.


Burke said she is "an addict" who struggled with alcoholism after she first moved to Los Angeles.

"I was a party girl," she said. "I just took it to the next level and it became an issue. And it became an everyday thing for me."

Burke said her dad, Stephen Burke, who died in March 2018, also fought and overcame alcoholism during his life.

"He was a former alcoholic," she said of her dad. "I don't know if it's genetic, but it, you know, it definitely runs in the family, and I didn't want to fall down that slippery slope."

Burke got sober following her engagement to former Boy Meets World actor Matthew Lawrence in May 2018.

"He is just my rock," she said of Lawrence. "I don't know where I would be without him."

Burke has also found support in her DWTS Season 29 partner, Backstreet Boys singer AJ McLean, who is sober as well.


"It's crazy, because I truly believe that people in your life come into your life because they are a reflection of you somehow," she said. "He has taught me patience and it's OK to be vulnerable."

Burke and McLean will perform Monday on DWTS. Burke teased "something BIG" to come on Instagram, tagging McLean's Backstreet Boys bandmates in a photo of herself with McLean.

"This week I feel like I'm truly one with the #BSBArmy. Something BIG coming your way on Monday. #KTBSPA #TeamPrettyMessedUp @dancingabc @aj_mclean," she wrote.


Season 29 marks Burke's 23rd season as a pro on DWTS. She won Seasons 2 and 3 with Drew Lachey and Emmitt Smith, respectively.

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