Cheryl Burke talks COVID-19 and how it affected her Dancing With the Stars performance

Cheryl Burke and Cody Rigsby from Dancing With the Stars. Pic credit: ABC

Cheryl Burke and Cody Rigsby missed two weeks of live ballroom dancing on Dancing With the Stars but returned in style for Disney Week.

The duo missed Week 2 when Cheryl tested positive for COVID-19. Luckily, she was vaccinated so she was in no danger, but she still had to quarantine.

Four days later, Cody tested positive. Like Cheryl, he is also vaccinated, so neither faced serious hospitalization or worse, but they still felt the effects.

Despite developing COVID-19, they kept competing on Dancing With the Stars.

In Week 2, they used their practice rehearsal footage. In Week 3, they practiced remotely and then performed separately and virtually. They moved on thanks to fan votes.

They returned for Week 4 and competed in back-to-back dances for Disney Week, and they are still in the competition.

Cheryl and Cody talked to reporters during Disney Week about their bouts with COVID-19 and how it affected their dancing.

Cheryl and Cody talk COVID-19 on Dancing With the Stars

Cody Rigsby said that he still had some lingering effects from his COVID-19 case, but he feels that he is almost back to normal.

“I feel like I’m 90 to 95 percent,” Cody said. “The jive is so athletic. We did it back to back. I remember my lungs being a little on fire. There are still effects from COVID[-19].”

“This is a once-in-a-century pandemic and these vaccines did a great job keeping us healthy and not in the hospital. But you’re still going to feel the effects.”

Cheryl agreed with it and described how COVID-19 made her feel.

“Like, my brain and my body not connecting like I had on Sunday. It was as if there was a pillow on my face as I was jiving,” Cheryl said.

“Look, I can always do a dance once but to have to repeat it, which we have to do it. The cameras have to know what we’re doing, but I definitely felt that it,” she said.

“It wasn’t stamina as much as it was like, ‘Whoa, like, I can barely breathe.’ My lungs felt like they were going to collapse.”

Cody and Cheryl ready for Grease Week on DWTS

Cody and Cheryl have not had a full week to practice together since before Week 1. For Disney Week, Cody was able to rejoin Cheryl the weekend before the shows.

Now, they are ready to ramp things back up.

“We only have one dance. We’re strong. We’re even healthier and more recovered from COVID[-19],” said Rigsby. “So this feels like an inflection point for this campaign.”

“This feels like an inflection point where, you know, we’ve been through this COVID[-19] situation and we’re finally getting a fair shot at all of the other competitors in the ballroom. I’m excited to kind of really give it our all.”

Cheryl agreed.

“I basically told Cody that look,” Burke added, “you’re never going to get a week like this, as hard as what this week has been. We’ll have more days regardless, but to do two new routines, two technical routines, see different styles of ballroom in two days.”

“Basically it was — it was the hardest for sure.”

Dancing With the Stars airs on Monday nights at 8/7c on ABC.


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