Dancing With The Stars dancer, Karina Smirnoff made an appearance at the Revel in Atlantic City, Friday evening, February 15 for a Meet and Greet with her fans. Smiling broadly, Smirnoff patiently shook hands, posed with fans and autographed photos of herself for everyone who came to meet her up close and personal.
Ukrainian Karina Smirnoff was born Karina Smirnova, January 2, 1978 in Kharkiv, Ukarainian SSR. She is best known to the general public as a professional dancer on Dancing With The Stars, winning the Thirteenth Season with army veteran and soap opera star J.R. Martinez. She’s also won runner-up title, a semi-final title, and several quarter final titles.
She is a five-time U.S. Champion, World Trophy Champion, and Asian Open Champion. Smirnoff has won the title at the UK Open, is a three-time champion at the US Open, two-time champion at the Asian Open, five-time champion at the Dutch Open, and five-time US National Professional Champion. She has taken second at the British Open Blackpool Dance Festival and she is the first woman to also ever make the “British Professional Final” with three different partners, which is very impressive.
Smirnoff was a performer on the third season of the ABC series Dancing With The Stars with celebrity partner Mario Lopez. They finished in 2nd place, losing to the team of Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke. Smirnoff returned to the show on March 19, 2007 this time partnered with Billy Ray Cyrus. The pair was the seventh to be eliminated from the competition on May 8, 2007. Her partner for Season Five of the show was current five-division world champion boxer, Floyd Mayweather, Jr, On October 16, 2007, Karina and Floyd were the fourth couple eliminated from competition and came in 9th place. She returned for Season Six, partnered with singer Mario and finished in 5th place. Season Seven, she was partnered with chef Rocco DiSpirito and they were the fourth pair to be eliminated with a finish of 9th place for the second time.
For the Season 8, Smirnoff’s partner was Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. They were eliminated in the fourth round on March 31, 2009, along with Holly Madison and her partner Dmitry Chaplin. For Season 9, she was partnered with singer Aaron Carter. They were eliminated on November 10, 2009, placing fifth. In Season Eeven, she was paired with The Situation from MTV’s reality TV show Jersey Shore. They were eliminated in the fourth week. In the Twelfth Season, she was partnered with movie star Ralph Macchio. They were eliminated in the semi-finals.
Smirnoff appeared on the Thirteenth Season, where she was partnered with actor J.R. Martinez. Smirnoff and Martinez ended up winning the competition against Cheryl Burke and Rob Kardashian, This was the first time Smirnoff had advanced to the finals since her inaugural season in Season Three, with Mario Lopez. Smirnoff dated her Dancing With The Stars partner Mario Lopez from 2006 to June 2008.
Smirnoff attended Fordham University, at which time she picked up her interest in dancing again. She graduated from Fordham University with a double major in economics and information system programming. During her academic studies, Smirnoff’s goal was to go to law school and become an attorney. However she later came across a dance school in Brooklyn, NY and after spending some time there she made dancing her profession.