Cheryl Burke claims dance partner Ryan Lochte suffered an injury as a result of two men who stormed the stage to protest his involvement in Dancing With the Stars on Monday's season 23 premiere.
"This morning, I got up and headed to rehearsal with the other pro dancers," Burke shared. "Everyone is definitely a little shaken up about what happened, but it's good to be dancing and focused on next week's show."
"We have a quickstep this week and Ryan did injure his ankle a little when the protester got tackled, so we'll have to see how our first rehearsal goes," she added. "But at the end of the day, we are all just so grateful that no one was more seriously injured."
According to the two-time DWTS champ, she still feels "100 percent safe in the ballroom," but is sure that security will be increased for next Monday's show. And, despite their decent premiere scores, she admitted that it "will probably take us a few weeks to put this incident behind us."
Burke says the embattled Olympic gold medalist was nervous before their dance, but felt encouraged by those in the crowd who were cheering for him. After their foxtrot, Lochte apparently felt proud of their performance.
Burke then recounted the incident, explaining that it wasn't until the protesters were on the stage that she knew something was wrong.
"We were standing there listening to [judge Carrie Ann Inaba] give us her thoughts when I suddenly saw someone walking onto the ballroom floor in a t-shirt with a red line through Ryan's last name," she wrote. "My first thought was, 'Is this a joke? Is this scripted and no one told us? Too soon, guys.' But as soon as he started yelling 'Boo! Lochte! Liar! Lochte!' I realized it was a serious situation."
Burke said that her first concern was that the man was armed, and with children in the audience, things could quickly go from bad to tragic. But security rapidly responded to put a stop to the protest.
"I looked up to Ryan and I could tell he was on the verge of tears. I could feel his heart sinking into his stomach – and to be honest, mine was too," she recalled. "I started getting teary eyed and apparently was shaking… I just wanted to be strong for Ryan."
"The first thing he did was turn to me and say, 'I'm so sorry.' I just told him, 'Never tell me you're sorry again. These tears are just because I don't want you to be hurt or for you to lose your spirit,'" she continued.
The protesters were released from police custody at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, with a court date set for Oct. 4, according to documents from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The two men were held overnight on a trespassing charge following Monday's filming.
See what Lochte told ET following the DWTS drama in the exclusive interview below.