We recently popped down to the Immersion Spa in the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City to partake in a fun fitness class with Karina Smirnoff of Dancing With the Stars. The gorgeous athletic performer dished to Glam about her love of dancing, exactly how she stays fit, and whom she would’ve liked to be partnered with a few seasons ago!
What’s the best advice for someone who hasn’t been to the gym in a while?
I have a class of new moms, and we do a shape up [workout]. They have one-year-olds, two-year-olds or three-year-olds, and they haven’t had time to get back in shape. I always say, “Think to yourself when you really don’t want to do it, just picture yourself in the beginning before you went through the whole childbirth and pregnancy and just do it for yourself.” That tends to psych them up even more. But try it slowly; you don’t have to go full out the first time. And even though before and during the workout you wonder why you’re doing this to yourself, afterwards you’ll feel amazing!
How often do you work out when you’re not competing on Dancing With the Stars?
Almost everyday. I have a dance studio that I opened up called Karina Smirnoff Dance. I have my ballroom classes, and I just started kids classes, and it’s so much fun. They are the cutest kids ever! They do the cha-cha and they get all excited if it works and they pout when it doesn’t work. And then I have my fitness classes at the studio. So I’m pretty much working out everyday.
We hear the rehearsals can be intense! On average, how many hours do you spend rehearsing for the show?
It depends on who you’re partnered with and what their availability is. I try to push them. I may be a professional, but they only have one opportunity to be on the show. They can’t slack off this season and try again next year, so I want them to be able to do it perfectly. We work seven, eight up to 10 hours a day. But then there are those that are not as available or willing, but then you do whatever you can get from them.
Is there any celebrity who has been on the show that you wished you had partnered with?
There’s only one guy I think I wish I had been paired up with in all of the seasons that I was in was Mark Dacascos [from Season 9]. It’s because as a kid I loved martial arts movies, I was a huge fan of him. At the same time, I was paired up with Aaron Carter that season and we went to the top four. Because I’m a fan of Mark, he seems like a really classy and cool guy, I’m grateful to have met him. I can’t really say that I wish I had him instead of Aaron, absolutely not. But I’m glad he did the show and I got to meet him.
How long have you been dancing for?
I started out when I was almost three years old. I’m the only child– there’s just my mom, my dad and I but I still had my grandparents, and everyone had an idea of what I should be doing. So, my mom’s parents put me in to play piano; my mom wanted me to dance; my dad wanted me to do figure skating; and my dad’s parent’s wanted me to do gymnastics. So literally I was the busiest little kid in the country! Up until I was 10, I did everything, but then I realized I had no childhood and I put my foot down and said, “I’m choosing only one!” And it was dance.
You look flawless even after a work out! What are the top three beauty bag essentials?
I always have my Girlactik makeup. I love lip gloss; I usually have a different color every week. I never leave home without it because you can work out and it doesn’t go all over like a lip gloss usually does. I never leave home without a little bottle of Baby Oil Gel as my moisturizer. I hate lotions, and sometimes when you spray tan, it leaves your skin dry, so I use it for that. I never leave home without my mascara – it’s also Girlactik; it’s my line, and it’s called Mink Black. It gives you length and volume and it’s super dark, so I don’t have to use false lashes anymore.
Are you planning a sequel for your fitness DVD [Shape Up with Karina]?
Yeah, this workout wasn’t the fundamentals. That DVD will come later on. It’s not as intense as our workout because in the DVD I’m explaining everything. There are the fundamentals, level two, and level three that are all planned out. We just need to find time to film it all and turn it into the DVDs. Maybe after this upcoming season is over we’ll start filming.