EXCLUSIVE: Cheryl Burke Opens Up About Taking Over 'Dance Moms,' Filling in for Abby Lee Miller

By
Cheryl Burke is instilling a new set of rules for the girls and parents of Dance Moms.
ET's Cameron Mathison caught up with Burke backstage at Dancing With the Stars on Monday night, and she revealed the differences between how she runs her dance studio as opposed to her predecessor, Abby Lee Miller. "I do like that [Miller] really works them hard," the former DWTS pro said before adding, "but I think there's a fine line of working them too hard and ...you can't yell at the girls for no reason."
Burke further explained, "You can't change certain girls' appearances. You can't make them feel small. You gotta get the best out of your students."
Prior to even getting the Dance Moms gig, the 33-year-old professional dancer shared that she "randomly" ran into Miller at their agent's party, but had already met her "a couple of times" when Miller was a guest judge on DWTS.
Burke also revealed that while her students' mothers seem "appreciative" that she's taken over, she still has to tell them to "back off a little bit."
"They can't walk into, barge into my dance studio without asking for my permission," she noted. "They also have to really take a step back, because these girls are young adults. I want them to be able to grow up on their own, make their own decisions, and their moms should be there caring for them -- not critiquing them -- and baking them cookies. That's what a mom should be doing."
As for Burke's personal life, she recently rekindled her romance with Matthew Lawrence, who was cheering on his girlfriend during her DWTS performance on Monday. "It's nice, very nice," she gushed. "We've reunited and it feels so good."
While Burke is gearing up for her debut on Dance Moms, Miller is getting ready to serve a 366-day prison sentence for bankruptcy fraud. Prior to the sentencing earlier this month, ET spoke with Miller about what she thinks of Burke replacing her on the Lifetime reality series.
"I think that's great," she said. "Hell yes [she's going to be treated differently]. Lifetime, Collins Avenue especially, looks at me like I was this down-and-out podunk dance teacher from Pittsburgh that they saved. Yet, I go to a cocktail party in Los Angeles and producers say, 'You saved Lifetime.'"