Cheryl Burke is replacing former choreographer Abby Lee Miller on Lifetime’s “Dance Moms” — and the dancer was shocked by what she saw on set.
“It was tough, there were a lot of tears, anger and insecurity,” the 33-year-old told US Weekly Thursday. “It was shocking to me. I couldn’t believe these beautiful girls that have zero confidence. That’s not the way to live life.”
Miller is currently incarcerated and serving 366 days for fraud. Burke hinted the young girls participating in the series may have been impacted by the loud-mouthed 51-year-old, who was often depicted as screaming and making cruel remarks on set.
“They said they’ve been traumatized by Abby and her teaching methods,” said Burke. “That’s a shame because with teenagers it’s so important to mentor them. I’m not a yeller. But I am strict. I tell it how it is, especially with the mothers because I come from the original dance mom. She was hard on me, but in the right way.”
Burke added she could easily identify with the aspiring dancers and their struggles.
“I had people body-shaming me when I gained a lot of weight and as a teenager, your body is going to change,” she said. “To get through it, you need to have great family and friends.”
Burke is hoping her role will change the way fans see the hit reality TV series, as well as the girls participating.
“I love working with kids,” she insisted. “I know the goal and how to reach it. They all want to make it in this business and I wanted to tell them that the transition from dancer to the Hollywood spotlight is not easy.”