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Dirty Dancing with the Stars

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The DWTS pros call the 1987 Patrick Swayze-Jennifer Grey film “the perfect dance movie,” says Chmerkovskiy, 30. But their bodies aren’t always a 10. “I gain weight a lot in my legs, butt and thighs,” says Burke, 26. For Chmerkovskiy, “I’m self-conscious about my midsection,” he says. “I make sure my stomach is in good shape, because once your stomach goes, everything goes.”


When the L.A.-based dancer isn’t channeling a welder with dreams of becoming a ballerina, Burke stays in shape with Jazzercise DVDs, Bikram yoga and three-mile runs. “I get bored easily, so it’s important to mix up my exercise,” she says. But she’s not a maniac about it: Burke gives her body a break from workouts until her wardrobe warrants otherwise. “When my tight jeans are hard to button, it’s time to get back in gear!”


Kevin Bacon’s moves in the ’84 hit aren’t exactly what Chmerkovskiy calls dancing. “It’s just a bunch of crazy movements,” he says. But he relates to the character’s defiant ways. As a teen ballroom dancer, “people said, ‘You’re too slow, too heavy, too awkward,’ ” says the 6’2″ Ukrainian-born pro. “I’m bigger than most dancers. But saying ‘you can’t do this’ motivated me.”


Mastering John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John’s hip swivel was a breeze compared to the body bullying Burke endured in ’08. “I was never fat, and calling me overweight was a horrible message to send,” she says. “The criticism happened when I was getting older and starting to realize I needed to take better care of my body.” Adds Chmerkovskiy: “She has nothing to be ashamed of.”