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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - For Brooke Burke, three months of hard work competing for and then winning the TV series "Dancing with the Stars" has paid off.
The former model and TV personality said her victory in the popular TV show's seventh season with partner Derek Hough has put her back in the spotlight after a few years off having the second two of her four children.
Burke, 37, the former host of E!'s "Wild On" and CBS' "Rock Star," spoke to Reuters about juggling her family with her career -- and dancing:
Q: Had you danced much before "Dancing with the Stars?"
A: "I had never danced before, and now I miss it a little. I took a month off afterwards because I had a pulled hamstring and had a couple of other injuries, and so I just took some R&R over the holidays. It was a great way to wrap up the end of the year. I would like to continue dancing but not at that level. It was a tremendous commitment."
Q: Did you enjoy taking part in the show?
A: "Oh yes. It is such a phenomenon with 20 million viewers. It is a great way to become a household name. I took a few years off to have my last two babies and it put me back on the map. It also changed me as a person. It was very challenging. It was a terrifying experience but also very exciting, and it challenged every single part of me."
Q: What plans do you have now?
A: "I am working on a bunch of things -- an online business I set up and I am spending a lot of time working on a mommy site and online store that I run. But I am also working on a bunch of other things and hoping to get back on TV real soon. I am also working on a book deal which is about balancing motherhood and everything else. So I am really not sure what 2009 will be."
Q: How do you manage to juggle four kids and your career?
A: "It is tough. My family comes first. I always wanted to be a mom but I also love being a working woman. I found a way to put it in perspective and set my priorities. I have a great support system in place -- my family. As a mother, I think I have accomplished more than as a single woman."
Q: You've just appeared again on the AskMen.com annual list of most desirable women.
A: "I think it is a great compliment to be on the list at any age and to remain on the list. But I feel my life is getting better as I get older. I am accomplishing more things and having more fun and deeper friendships and relationships."
Q: How do you stay in such great shape?
A: "I have always had a healthy lifestyle. I have always had a healthy diet and enjoy working out, although I am not obsessed about it. The dancing took off any baby weight I had and then some."
Q: How do you keep the children grounded?
A: "It is hard. We live in Malibu and in a very ritzy place, surrounded by a lot of privileged people, but I try to raise them in the most natural way possible. I am honest with them which I think is important. I am raising them to be strong and opinionated."
Writing by Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by Bob Tourtellotte