There’s a ton of drama brewing on Dance Moms and this time, the moms have nothing to do with it! Fans were shocked when Lifetime announced that Dancing With the Stars pro Cheryl Burke would be replacing longtime star Abby Lee Miller as the ALDC dance instructor — and now Cheryl is throwing shade at the former star’s teaching technique, and she also explained why it was important for her to play a more supportive role as a mentor to the young girls.
“My teaching style is completely different from Abby’s,” the 33-year-old told In Touch. I don’t remember the last time I yelled!”
Dance Moms fans are used to watching Abby lose her temper and raise her voice at her young dancers, and Cheryl knew that she would have to try to win those fans over — but she also said that Abby’s abrasive nature “made her students feel small,” and that’s something that she was not willing to do.
“Absolutely. This is television and I know people want to see drama,” she said. “But I thought, I just have to be myself, which is stern, strict but still compassionate. I am not a yeller.”
Abby — who quit the show shortly before she was sentenced to 366 days in federal prison after she was convicted of felony bankruptcy fraud charges — had a very strict, almost mean approach to the way she taught her students, and Cheryl was candid when she said that she did not approve of her predecessor’s methods.
“From what I’ve heard from the moms and girls, they’ve been traumatized by their experiences,” Cheryl revealed. “It’s no good to be calling girls names. You’re not inspiring them to become better artists…you’re making them feel like crap.”
But for Cheryl, she said there is a way to be a no-nonsense teacher while being compassionate. “I don’t waste people’s time. I go in there and do my job,” she said. “And the moms have to ask my permission to come into the studio.”
Watch Cheryl make her Dance Moms debut on Tuesday, Oct. 17 at 9 p.m. on Lifetime.