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Dancing With the Stars’ Cheryl Burke Previews Partner’s Biggest Struggles, ‘Critical’ Judges and More (Exclusive)

Dancing With the Stars pro Cheryl Burke is blogging exclusively with Us Weekly about her quest to take home the season 28 mirrorball trophy! Check back each week for her latest update on the competition.

Cheryl Burke Previews Dancing With the Stars Biggest Struggle
Cheryl Burke from ‘Dancing With the Stars’. ABC/Craig Sjodin

Related: Meet the Season 28 Cast of 'DWTS'

Ahead of the season 28 Dancing With the Stars premiere, pro dancer Cheryl Burke opened up about what’s to come, how her partner has been adjusting to tough rehearsals, what she’s performing on the premiere and more.

On rehearsals:
This has gone by way too fast. We used to have six weeks of training back in the day. That’s how it should be again.

On her mystery partner:
The partner who I have now is definitely the person who I prefer because he’s used to this type of schedule, you know? And he likes being coached and he’s OK with that and he’s, he’s a hard worker and you know, his work ethic is amazing.

On what they’ve struggled with:
His past career came a lot of injuries, you know, so these are permanent injuries. What people don’t understand [is] when they see dancing, they think it’s so easy and they think it’s fun. It is fun, don’t get me wrong, but it takes a lot of work to get to the fun, you know? And so it’s, it’s really hard on the body.

Right now the struggle, has been just scheduling, like getting enough time to rehearse. It’s going to be a challenge because I don’t think, unless if you are a dancer, you should be missing any days when it comes to training. We’ll get there. I keep telling him, “Just one step at a time.” It’s always fun to see someone else’s real personality come out after they’ve been known for doing something else for so long.

Related: DWTS' Hottest Hookups

On what he’s most nervous about:
He keeps saying, “I’m not gonna let you down.” So I think he’s more nervous of that. He’s still trying to find his way. It’s like trying to teach a baby to walk first before crawling. It’s not enough time. You have to totally be in tune with each other and that’s what we’re still figuring out. So it’s tough. He’s either gonna make me fly across the ballroom floor by accident or we’re gonna be good. It will be good regardless though!

I just keep telling him to communicate with me because I can just go on and bicker and just tell people what to do as far as dancing goes, for hours. So if he needs a break, just let me know. You know, men are very tough and they don’t want to ever say that they need a break or that they are in pain. But, he’s gonna have to!

Cheryl Burke Previews Dancing With the Stars Biggest Struggle
‘Dancing With the Stars’ judges, Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli. ABC/Eric McCandless

On Monday night’s performance:
We’re doing a salsa to “Hot in Herre” by Nelly. It’s fast.

Related: 'DWTS' Winners Through the Years

On the judges:

I hear that they’re going to be critical and I hear that they’re going to then show a number that meets what they say, you know? So if that’s a one, so be it. I just hope that they do that, you know, with everyone and I hope what they say is constructive criticism and it’s not just because it’s a TV show that they have to say something. But I’m not nervous about the judges. I’m actually excited to see them. I’m happy that the judges are the same. I’m happy to just see everyone again. It’s been a long time.

I think coming from the wedding, I’m just still on that high!

Dancing With the Stars airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.

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