ET spoke with the pro dancer just hours after she was introduced to the celebrity contestant she'll be competing with for the mirrorball trophy. Although Burke couldn't reveal her partner's name, she did give us some clues to hold us over until Sept. 14, when the official pairings will be revealed during premiere night.
"I was very, very happy. It's somebody who I think will have lots of potential, but is also just a really cool person," Burke, 36, teased. "I am going to have to spend a lot of time with this person, so you hope you just like them as a person first, and I definitely can check that box. I think he has some rhythm, so we will see. Ballroom is a whole other beast!"
We then put Burke to the test by firing off a bunch of questions about her partner. Here's how she answered:
Cheryl, can you share one physical attribute about your partner?
Oh God. That's not obvious. Um, hair. His face.
He has facial hair?
Give us a hint about his occupation.
Hmm, he's definitely in the business. He's a celebrity, how about that?
Has he danced before, in any way?
Yes. But not ballroom. Sometimes it's harder to untrain somebody with dance experience than it is to teach somebody with a new skill.
Is he in any way associated with someone who's been on the show before?
Yes. But that's 28 seasons, so good luck! *laughs*
If you were to rate, on a scale of 1-10, how much practice you think your partner's going to need, where is he at right now?
Well, he says he's a perfectionist, and with perfectionists, they like to over-rehearse. My thing is, I have to take his brain and rewire it and just kind of get in there and be, like, "Stop trying to be a perfectionist!"
So I would say like 8, 9. He's going to really want to go hardcore but then I'm going to have to tell him just to chill and have fun.
Out of all the current pro dancers, Burke has been with the show the longest. This upcoming season will mark her 23rd season competing with a celebrity. Her previous partners include Drew Lachey and Emmitt Smith (both who landed her a mirrorball trophy!), Wayne Newton, Chad Ochocinco, Rob Kardashian, Ryan Lochte and Terrell Owens.
"I'm honestly just so lucky to be a part of a show that has been going on for so long," Burke gushed. "This is my 23rd season and it's so crazy just to think that we're still going, even during this pandemic. I didn't think that was going to happen, to be quite honest."
"At the end of the day, dancing is something that brings people together," she added. "I think when it comes to the dance world in general, no competitions are happening this year, dance teachers are losing their jobs. Maybe we can find a new way for everybody to still be able to do dance competitions, to still be able to dance, and have dance in their lives. You don't always need to be in front of a live audience."
Aside from rehearsals for DWTS, Burke has also been busy with the launch of her new mask collection, a collaboration with Los Angeles-based clothing line Bailey Blue. The six masks Burke created are named after ballroom dances featured on the dance competition show, like "The Cha Cha Cha," "The Samba" and "The Rumba," along with a special-edition "The Mirrorball."
"Listen, you can never take the bedazzle away from me. This is what I have been doing in quarantine," she shared. "I have been figuring out how to make these masks really cool and something that you can breathe in and not choke on."
"I see people jogging without a mask, because they are actually inhaling their mask [when its on] -- it is like impossible," she added. "So before the sparkles, obviously that's an added bonus, it was the construction of the mask because I was like, 'There is a way to do this and it can still be CDC-approved and look cute.' People, let's look cute!"
Burke noted that her masks are truly "life changing," because "you can breathe in them, and you'll look cute."
"You can go to my Instagram page @cherylburke, or go straight to the site, baileyblueclothing.com," she added. "My favorite, honestly is, of course, The Mirrorball." Pictured above.
Dancing With the Stars returns Monday, Sept. 14 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. In the meantime, tune in to Entertainment Tonight on Thursday for more from Burke's interview.