Burke comes to SF to promote charities

June 5, 2009 7:59:19 PM PDT
Cheryl Burke from ABC's hit show "Dancing With the Stars" is back home in the Bay Area to help a number of local charities.

She and her latest dance partner came by ABC7 to talk about that and more, like how tough she is on her partners.

Twenty-five-year-old Cheryl Burke may be a taskmaster, but she's also a two-time winner on ABC's Dancing With the Stars.

She and her 33-year-old partner, Gilles Marini, came within less than a percentage of winning this season's competition.

"We were having fun and I couldn't get anything done, and she turned into a drill sergeant and I learned very fast, like a kid," said Gilles.

Gilles injured his arm during the first part of the 15-week season, and just underwent three hours of surgery two days before this interview.

"He was very tough, he never told me when he was in pain, he just kept on going, so I just kept on going," said Burke.

Gilles came to town with his arm in a sling to support Cheryl in her charity work. She has a major fundraiser coming up to help Seton Hospital.

Her mother, Sherri Burke, used to be a nurse at Seton.

"She's been a nurse her whole life. She started her own nursing company when I was in her belly. Now she's dedicated a lot of her time to my studios and it's important that we give back, especially to Seton," said Cheryl.

Cheryl's fans will be shocked to learn she may or may not be back on the show next season.

"None of the dancers are sure, because they have to cast all the celebrities, so the producers don't call us until the week or two weeks before the season starts to actually confirm us on the show. So if they don't find a good match for me, I'm not on next season," said Cheryl.

As for Gilles, his reputation as a model, actor, former French soldier, firefighter, husband and father shot way up with his friends when they found out he was teamed up with Cheryl.

"They were all so jealous that I got to spend so many hours, days, months with her," said Gilles.

Maybe they'll be paired up in another celebrity event. But for now, Gilles has a message for Cheryl's next celebrity student.

"Whoever is her partner, you better be nice, because she takes you there -- no one else," said Gilles.

Cheryl Burke is hosting "Let's Have a Ball" for Seton Health Services Foundation on Saturday, June 20 at the Cheryl Burke Dance Studio 1830 17th Street in San Francisco. For tickets call Laurie Glynn at 650-991-5912.

You can win two VIP tickets to a live broadcast of a season nine "Dancing with the Stars" performance show, plus hotel and airfare. For more information, send an email to setonfoundation@dochs.org.

  • Cheryl Burke Dance

    Proceeds will help pay for patients without insurance and buying new reclining chairs for chemotherapy treatments.

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