Karina Smirnoff of 'Dancing with the Stars' opens new dance studio

Karina Smirnoff has got a new dance studio opening this Friday at the village at Westfield Topanga. She's also doing her thing on the new season of ‘Dancing With The Stars’.

Fun facts about Karina Smirnoff (Source: Wikipedia)

Early in Smirnoff's dancing career, she and Roman Nabatov competed as an amateur couple for USA. They ended their dance partnership in January 1997. Smirnoff soon after started dancing with Paul Killick in October 1998 as a professional couple for England; this partnership ended in July 1999. Immediately, Louis Van Amstel and Karina Smirnoff, in July 1999, entered a professional dance partnership, representing the U.S.A; the partnership ended in December 2000.

From January 2001 to September 2005, Smirnoff was in a dance partnership with Slavik Kryklyvyy and they represented the U.S.A; this partnership thus far is her most successful one. Kryklyvyy and Smirnoff earned numerous top titles and high ratings together.

Smirnoff appeared in the 2004 film Shall We Dance as a dance instructor and was Stanley Tucci's dance partner. She also released a fitness DVD, Shape Up With Karina Smirnoff.

Her last professional partner recorded in competitions was Dmitri Timokhin representing Russia in October 2005. They won first place at the 2006 Grand-Prix Dynamo in Moscow. They finished dancing together in June 2006. Smirnoff was the project manager/director of a dancing event entitled "Day & Night", held on November 18, 2006 at the Hollywood & Highlands Grand Ballroom. She guest starred as Madame Escajeda in an episode of Hannah Montana.

Smirnoff was a performer on the third season of the ABC series Dancing with the Stars with celebrity partner Mario López. They finished in second place, losing to the team of Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke. Smirnoff returned to the show on March 19, 2007 for Season 4, this time partnered with Billy Ray Cyrus, country singer and Hannah Montana star. The pair was the seventh to be eliminated from the competition on May 8, 2007. Her partner for Season 5 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 6, partnered with singer Mario and finished in 5th place. In Season 7, 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 eighth season, Smirnoff's partner was Apple Inc. 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 the ninth season, she was partnered with singer Aaron Carter. They were eliminated on November 10, 2009, placing fifth. In the eleventh season, she was partnered with The Situation from MTV's reality TV show Jersey Shore. They were eliminated in the fourth week. In the twelfth season of Dancing with the Stars, she was partnered with movie star Ralph Macchio. They were eliminated in the semi-finals.

Smirnoff appeared on the thirteenth season of Dancing with the Stars, where she was partnered with All My Children actor J. R. Martinez. Smirnoff and Martinez ended up winning the competition against Rob Kardashian and his partner Cheryl Burke & Ricki Lake and her partner Derek Hough. This was the first time Smirnoff had advanced to the finals since her inaugural season in season 3 with Mario López. For the fourteenth season of Dancing With The Stars, Karina was partnered with singer Gavin DeGraw. They were eliminated in week 5. For the fifteenth season, she was partnered with season four winner, Apolo Anton Ohno and ended up placing 5th. For the sixteenth season, she is partnered with NFL star Jacoby Jones. Smirnoff became injured when she was performing a flip with partner Jones during rehearsals for their week 9 Lindy hop. The couple was able to reach finals but came in third place losing to Zendaya and Kellie Pickler who took second and first place respectively. For season 17 she was partnered with former High School Musical actor Corbin Bleu and landed in second place behind Amber Riley and Derek Hough. For season 18, she was partnered with former NHL player Sean Avery. They were the second couple eliminated in a double elimination on Week 2. This marked Smirnoff's earliest exit of the competition.

For season 19 she was paired with UFC fighter and actor Randy Couture. They were eliminated in week 3, finishing in 11th place. After taking a one season break, Smirnoff returned for season 21 and is paired with professional jockey, Victor Espinoza

'The Karina Smirnoff Dance Studio' opens this Friday, September 18th at the Village at Westfield Topanga...that's where she'll also host ‘Dancing Under The Stars’ Friday night as part of the grand opening weekend.

‘Dancing with the Stars’ airs Monday and Tuesday nights on ABC.

Follow Karina Smirnoff on Twitter: @Karina_Smirnoff

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