Dancing Lessons: How I Found Passion and Potential on the Dance Floor and in Life

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9780470640005: Dancing Lessons: How I Found Passion and Potential on the Dance Floor and in Life
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The inside story of the life of Cheryl Burke, professional dancer, choreographer, and two-time champion on the top-rated TV hit series Dancing with the Stars

Cheryl Burke has been dancing since the age of four and competing since she was thirteen years old. Over several exciting seasons, she has captivated audiences of Dancing with the Stars with her incredible dance performances, Emmy-nominated choreography, high energy, and bright smile. In Dancing Lessons, she takes you from her childhood years into the world of competitive ballroom dancing and on to Dancing with the Stars.

In each chapter, you will discover a depth of passion in Cheryl's life that perfectly matches the commitment she displays on the dance floor. Cheryl's accounts of being a powerful woman putting her talent to work will inspire everyone to pursue their own dreams.

  • Includes behind-the-scenes stories and photos from the life of the first two-time champion of Dancing with the Stars
  • Shares lessons Cheryl has learned from each of her celebrity partners on Dancing with the Stars, from Drew Lachey to Chad Ochocinco
  • Includes never-before-discussed revelations concerning Cheryl's childhood, weight issues, and the media

Read Dancing Lessons and let Cheryl Burke whisk you away to a world full of dancing, entertainment, and life.

Q&A with Author Cheryl Burke

What drew you to the world of dance?
As a young child, my mom got me involved in the typical ballet classes that a lot of girls take. When I was a little older, I went with my parents to a ballroom class they were taking and instantly fell in love with the costumes and the music. And I loved that it was partner dancing.

What inspired you to write Dancing Lessons?
Since being on Dancing with the Stars I’ve encountered a lot of people who’ve asked me about my dance background, my training and my childhood. I thought that if I could write a book that inspires people to take up dance or to find their passion and they can learn from it like I have, then it would be worth it to write a book.

What do you think people can learn about life through dance?
Compromise. Sharing. Teamwork. You can learn to express yourself with your body. Sometimes words fail to really convey emotion, and dance teaches you body language and interpretation.

What is your favorite part of being on Dancing with the Stars?
The best part of being involved in Dancing with the Stars is inspiring people of all ages to get up and dance. When people approach me and say that I’ve motivated them to get off the couch and be more active; to enroll in dance class; or when young kids want to take dance lessons, that’s my inspiration to be part of the show.

If you could offer one piece of advice to your fans, what would you tell them?
Find your passion. Once you do, nothing can stop you.

Dance Tips from Author Cheryl Burke

General Dance Tip
No matter what dance you perform, you should have fun doing it – and don’t ever fake it. When I dance, I don’t put on any show faces. Facial expressions are an extension of the body’s expressions and should come from somewhere special and authentic. When you feel the dance and the music, that, in turn dictates how you will emote. People can tell if you’re being artificial.

Salsa Tip
There’s a lot of hip action and body pulsing in the salsa, so quick feet are a must. Women also need good flexibility and the ability to spin fast without getting dizzy.

Quickstep Tip
This is a high-energy dance in which the partners must keep holding on to each other. You have to be light on your feet and move around the floor as a unit. And don’t forget to smile.

Rumba Tip
You need to be flexible, sexy, and sensual with your partner. Focus on good hip action. You move much more slowly than in the salsa, but movement is key.

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From the Inside Flap:

"All of my fears and insecurities, the adrenaline rushing through my body, the perspiration on the palms of my hands—it all came to a boil. Then the music started, and like so many times before, the nerves vanished. The minute and thirty seconds I had to dance . . . was magic."

On February 26, 2006, professional dancer Cheryl Burke and pop singer Drew Lachey were declared the winners of Dancing with the Stars on Cheryl's first season with the show. As the media parade began, it was a unique moment of validation and transformation for Cheryl that marked the start of an exhilarating new stage in her life and her career. How did this once shy girl, a girl who loved to dance but gave up ballet because she didn't have a "ballet body," overcome numerous insecurities to realize her dream of a successful dance career and become a champion—twice—on one of the most popular shows on television?

In Dancing Lessons, Cheryl Burke invites you into her life to experience her remarkable journey, from her first dance steps to ballroom dancing competitions around the world to Dancing with the Stars. Cheryl shares the glamour and excite- ment of the ballroom dancing world as well as the grit and hard work it demands of competitors.

Leading you into the rehearsal studios and backstage at Dancing with the Stars, Cheryl tells surprising stories about her celebrity partners and what she has learned from each of them. You'll find out how she and Drew Lachey came up with the sexy moves of their winning freestyle dance routine and how Tom DeLay really felt about wearing rhinestones, as well as what Emmitt Smith taught her about respect and which Dancing with the Stars partner Cheryl came close to dating.

Speaking candidly about her long struggle to transform self-doubt into self-confidence, Cheryl opens up in this book about her body issues and her difficulties in dealing with the media spotlight on her weight. She also tells the truth about the press's attempts to portray her as a party girl. At every stage, her family played an important role in keeping her focused on her future even while they sometimes disagreed about whether that future would include making a living from dance.

As irresistible as the tango and as uplifting as the jive, Dancing Lessons is an engaging story of courage, passion, and persistence. Read it and let Cheryl inspire you to give yourself permission to dance, as she tells her students, and pursue your own dreams, one step at a time.

From the Back Cover:

Dancing Lessons

"Cheryl Burke shares her inspiring story of how she overcame a painful past to fulfill her dreams. Not giving up and healing past resentments are why she is not only an amazing dancer, but a kick-ass woman to look up to."
Jenny McCarthy

"Cheryl has fascinated me since the first time I watched her dance. If you're a fan of Dancing with the Stars, I'm betting you feel the same. Who wouldn't want a chance to get to know her better?"
Tom Bergeron

"In Dancing Lessons, Cheryl Burke shows us not only how she got to be such a great dancer, but how she came to be such a terrific person. I enjoyed reading this book, and I know you will, too."
Emmitt Smith

"Cheryl has inspired millions of people to get up and dance. In Dancing Lessons, she shares with us her inspiration and the ups and downs that have led to her success."
Drew Lachey

"Only a few people in my life have made such an impact as Cheryl has, both professionally and personally. From my first day on Dancing with the Stars to the end of the show, she was a great teacher and an even better friend."
Gilles Marini

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