Exclusive Interview with Karina Smirnoff of Dancing with the Stars
The dancing star talks travel, upcoming projects, and what it was like to dance with The Situation!

courtesy of Playboy
Joonbug: What has been the best part of working on Dancing with the Stars?

Karina Smirnoff: My favorite part of working on the show is to be able to meet amazing celebrities and to choreograph and create amazing dances and stories. I love to how the dances come to life and my favorite is watching celebrities fall in love with their dances and the beautiful art of dance.

JB: Who has been your most compatible dance partner on the show?

KS: I've been on the show since season 3. So I have had a slew of partners who I had a lot in common with and some who were quite different from me. But no matter who my partner has been, we have had the same goal and we're in it as a team. I won with JR, who is absolutely amazing. And I think we were extremely compatible, but I really enjoyed dancing, meeting and becoming best friends with Ralph Macchio. He's like my big brother I never had and his family is my extended family for sure!

JB: What has been your greatest accomplishment as a dancer?

KS: It's hard to find one moment that I'm most proud of. I definitely cherish being the only female dancer who made the World Professional Final with 4 different partners. I'm super proud to have been US National Professional Champion for 7 years overall. And I'm extra super proud to have won my first Mirror Ball Trophy on this season of Dancing With The Stars!

JB: What's your favorite dance style and why?

KS: I love them all. It highly depends on the mood I'm in, the choice of music, partner, etc. And I truly love all styles and what they stand for and represent.

JB: Did you ever plan to be anything other than a dancer? Or did you always know you wanted to dance?

KS: I always knew I LOVED dancing. It's my emotional, physical, psychological and creative release. This is my abortive pastime, exercise, fun time and escape from the world. Although I was always in love with dance, I was afraid to think of it as my only career choice. So I followed my academic career and pursued law. I studied economics and information systems programming.

Katina dances with The Situation
Dancing with the Stars
JB: How was working with the situation from Jersey Shore? Was he different than his TV persona?

KS: Very different. Mike is a sweet guy and tried really hard. He is definitely an entertainer and had all of us on the show laughing with him all the time. :-)

JB: What are your upcoming projects?

KS: I'm excited about all the projects I've been working on! I opened my first dance studio in LA this year, so it's taking quite a lot of my time. We have social, competitive and kids programs as well as a big fitness section. Another project is something I'm very proud of is my DanceFIT program. We are traveling around the North America and about to take it internationally. It's a program that consists of  fitness classes, Shape Up classes, ballroom beginners classes and fun events and meet and greets. We have a Hawaiian island tour coming up; which I'm looking extremely forward to. I also have my own make up line with GALIT by Girlactik Beauty, which is make up that I wholeheartedly support and love. It's not only amazing in colors, quality, pigmentation levels and vitamin infused, it's easy to apply, carry and travel with. I also am working on my own collection of boots with Bearpaw Shoes. My latest design is the Capulet, which was inspired by my slow waltz with Ralph Macchio. As you can see there's a lot happening in 2012 and beyond - I am very grateful!

JB: Where are your favorite places to dine and party?

KS: I love Mexican food so I'm definitely a fan of Casa Vega in Sherman Oaks, I love Beauty and Essex in NY as well as Tao in Vegas and Koi in La!

JB: Best place you've ever traveled to and why?

KS: Thailand. Phuket in particular. So much culture, great quality of service, incredible scenery and amazing ambiance. A piece of heaven on earth.

JB: What kind of music are you into right now? Favorite artists?

KS: Lil Wayne, Adele, Bruno mars, Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble, and many more. I love music and always sing along in the car!

JB: What do you hope to do after dancing with the stars?
KS: Continue building my brand focused on health, beauty, fitness and nutrition; as well as  growing as a dancer, artist, actor, business woman, person and  hopefully Mother one day!

Karina Smirnoff will be hosting our New Year's Eve party at Bowlmor. Click here to get your tickets now!