Cheryl Burke is in the building!
The Dancing with the Stars pro will officially join the cast of Dance Moms on Tuesday’s episode, replacing former coach Abby Lee Miller, who is currently serving a year in prison for bankruptcy fraud.
In a special sneak peek from the episode, the girls are finally introduced to their new coach.
“New dawn, new day, new life — I brought in a new dance teacher,” announces Christi, one of the mothers on the show.
“She started off, I believe as a ballet dancer, and then as she got older she discovered that ballroom was her passion,” Christi tells the young girls. “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’s not going to cut you any slack,” warns another mom.
“You’re going to have to work really hard to show her what you can do,” adds another.
“I think that she’ll come in here and want to bring out the best in you,” Christi says. “She knows what you need to do to win.”
As Burke, 33, walks in, the girls begin cheering excitedly.
“Cheryl Burke’s our girl!” Christi gushes.
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“I’d had a meeting with one of the executives,” Burke told PEOPLE last month. “And I got a call a few days later from my manager saying, ‘Abby walked off set, and they’d love for you to take her place.’ I was just thrown into it!”
Nevertheless, Burke said she’s grateful for the opportunity to work with the girls on the show and guide them in a different way than Miller had for the past six years.
“The girls told me they were traumatized by Abby,” she said. “I’m strict, but I don’t yell. I want to make sure they don’t lose their love of dance.”
“I understand how these kids feel pressure living in the spotlight,” she added. “I hope I helped them get ready for the real world and gave them things to work on, rather than criticizing how they look or other things they can’t change.”
Dance Moms airs Tuesdays (9 p.m. ET) on Lifetime.