'Dancing' Pro Cheryl Burke: 'All-Stars' Season Was 'A Little Too Competitive'

Cheryl Burke looks back -- and forward -- as 'Dancing With the Stars' inches closer to tonight's season 16 premiere.

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Fans let down by the All-Stars edition of Dancing With the Stars can look forward to a return to form for the hit reality series when it premieres later tonight on ABC.

This, according to one of its stars, Cheryl Burke.

"[The contestants] were a little too competitive," Burke said of season 15, which posted all-time lows in the ratings for the Emmy-nominated juggernaut. "I remember being on the show eight years ago. In [my] first two seasons, it was definitely more of a fun, family show and I feel like maybe last season people took themselves a little too seriously."

out of their comfort zone, but also enjoy the process at the same time."

"I think the goal for this season is to bring the show back to the way it was -- to make people just laugh and have fun and not take themselves too seriously."

If Burke is looking to laugh, she's in luck: The show has paired her with long-time comedian D.L. Hughley, marking a change of pace for the 28-year-old pro.

"It’s my first comedian that I've ever had," Burke -- who has danced with everyone from Emmitt Smith to Rob Kardashian -- said. "I’ve been getting lots of athletes, so it’s great to be able to have a comedian -- someone who takes himself seriously, because he respects our art of dance, but at the same time he wants to have fun."

"He makes me laugh all the time, which is great."

Burke adds that she is focusing on Hughley's technique to get him ready for tonight's big premiere.

"He has no experience dancing at all. I'm trying to figure out what looks good on him and what doesn’t and I’m still trying to see how his body moves," she said.

In-between seasons, Burke -- who joined Dancing in season 2 -- teamed up with Sargento cheese to help women learn how to snack correctly throughout the day.

"I just think it’s the perfect partnership, especially since I’m always on the go -- and who doesn’t love cheese?" Burke told Celebuzz. "It's a great way to be able to snack throughout the day, especially when you have a hectic schedule like I do."

"It's such a great source of high-quality protein, and its calorie-controlled," she added.

As for her favorite snacks, she said: "My favorite definitely has to be the reduced-fat Colby Jack and Natural String Cheese. It’s easy if you’re on the go, especially like I am with the show, or even if it’s just having a busy day. It’s so easy to pack and you can enjoy it with fruits or with crackers or whatever you please."

For more on Sargento, visit its official website.

Dancing With the Stars premieres tonight at 8/7c on ABC.

 

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