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  • Writer's pictureKristyn Burtt

Cheryl Burke Reveals 'Dancing With the Stars' Details We've Been Waiting For

What will Season 29 of Dancing With the Stars look like? ABC has been tight-lipped on the season and host and executive producer Tyra Banks stated the show would be "next-level." Needless to say, the details on the series have been scarce so far, until now.

The pros for Season 29 have officially been announced and there is one particular dancer who revealed so juicy insight into the season. Cheryl Burke spoke with Access Hollywood and broke down what a pandemic DWTS will be like for them.


Well, let's call this quarantine-ish. While the married pros like Sasha Farber & Emma Slater, Jenna Johnson & Val Chmerkovskiy and Pasha Pashkov & Daniella Karagach are living in separate homes, the other pros are allowed to live with their significant others and family. COVID-19 tests are happening daily for the cast and crew, so that should alleviate any of the worries about a super-spreader event occurring.

"We are getting all of these emails with protocols and we are getting tested every day. I love how on top of it they are," Burke explained. "It just makes me feel — and the rest of the cast — that we are in a safe environment. We have COVID officers on set."

Each DWTS couple will be in a bubble, though. Don't expect to see the celeb aquarium this season as all of the duos will be social distancing.

"They definitely want us with our partners," she said. "We won't be socializing. We are going to be watching from a distance. They are trying to avoid the spread of COVID."


This area is a little fuzzy. Burke has a line of sparkly masks with cheeky ballroom dance-inspired names like The Cha-cha-cha and The Samba, but it's hard to figure out if the masks will only be worn in rehearsal or if fans will see them during the show. The wardrobe department will probably get pretty creative here if masks are required.


Fans got an inside look at the rehearsal room on Thursday with the AJ McLean reveal. Cameras are set-up in multiple locations throughout the studio to remove the need for any additional staff. Field producers and camera operators are located in another room with the ability to communicate with them via an intercom. The robotic cameras are operated remotely.

"They are trying to set specific time frames as far as rehearsals go. There is no field producer, everything is computer operated. One of the dance studios in our rehearsal space has been turned into a production room," Burke shared. "You'll have your producer in there, but you'll hear them through a speaker that is set up in the actual dance studio. And we are going to dance as normal."

The Tyra influence

OK, Banks is letting the pros get glam this season. Each season, the portraits look the same —the show switches up the costumes and the wardrobe, but they aren't very creative. Banks is throwing out the old on that this season because she's bringing in a fashion photographer to level up the cast photos.

"She's bringing in a photographer to come and shoot us," Burke said. "I am so excited about it, I can't even handle it. Very Met Gala!"

The set

DWTS won't have an audience this season, but that was an expected change given the current California and SAG/AFTRA guidelines. That will alter the energy in the room because the performers often feed off the audience.

The set will also get an upgrade — the judges' panel is moving from the side of the set to the front of the set. They will be looking at the ballroom floor straight on instead of from the side view. Burke even admitted this will make performing more nerve-wracking.

"I did see a computer-animated visual of the ballroom and it looks spectacular," she said. "The judges are going to be moved right in front of us. It's going to make me really in my head."

Dancing With the Stars premieres on Monday, Sept. 14.


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