|Born:||January 2, 1978|
|Known for:||Her dancing career|
She is also a five-time U.S. National 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.
Smirnoff was born Karina Smirnova in Kharkiv, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union on January 2, 1978. When she was five years old, she began taking ballet lessons, followed by gymnastics, aerobics, figure skating, ballroom dancing and piano. She chose to pursue ballroom dancing. In 1992, Smirnoff immigrated to the United States.
Smirnoff attended Nerinx Hall High School in St. Louis, Missouri and Christopher Columbus High School in The Bronx, New York City and the Bronx High School of Science before going to Fordham University, during which time she picked up her interest in dancing again. Smirnoff 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, New York, and after some time there dancing became her profession.
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.
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.
Dancing with the StarsEdit
Starting in September 12, 2006, the show's third season premiere, Karina Smirnoff joined the show as one of the pros. She partnered with such stars as Mario Lopez, Billy Ray Cyrus, Steve Wozniak, Aaron Carter and Ralph Macchio. So far, Karina won season 13 alongside J.R. Martinez.