She's one tough cookie! In an exclusive interview with Life & Style, Dance Moms star Cheryl Burke revealed what it was like to step in to replace Abby Lee Miller this season of the Lifetime reality series. As fans know, Abby is currently serving a 366-day prison sentence for bankruptcy fraud.

"I tried to become a mentor to [the girls] and help them find their love of dance again," she explained, adding, "I’m not a yeller, but I am strict. People see that on Dancing With the Stars. I try to get the best out of my students, and I will be stern."

On what's to come on this season of Dance Moms, Cheryl — who recently reunited with her boyfriend, Matthew Lawrence — explained, "Of course the moms are a big part of the show as well, so I had to get used to dealing with their issues while focusing on the girls and their dancing. You’ll definitely see me remind the moms that they should be acting like supportive moms."

The girls met their new teacher on Tuesday night's episode, and Christi warned the young dancers this would NOT be a walk in the park. “She started off, I believe as a ballet dancer, and then as she got older she discovered that ballroom was her passion. She eventually became a pro on Dancing with the Stars. She won two Mirrorball Trophies. Like, she’s no joke — she’s not going to come in here sweeter than sweet,” she explained. “I think that she’ll come in here and want to bring out the best in you. She knows what you need to do to win.”

Catch Cheryl on Dancing With the Stars on Mondays at 8 p.m. EST on ABC and Dance Moms on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EST on Lifetime.

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