Dancing With the Star's smoking hot Karina Smirnoff dishes with Glam on her charismatic partner, awkward wardrobe malfunctions, and sizing up the fierce competition this season...
It's still early on, but how are you feeling about this season of DWTS? How have you changed and evolved throughout the seasons?
I am super excited about this season. I'm ready mentally, physically, and emotionally. The show is amazing and very intense. It truly teaches you about yourself, and allows you to showcase so many sides of your personality. I believe the show is as much a fun adventure as it is a learning process.
Tell me your first impression of Ralph Macchio, your new partner?
Ralph is a dream partner. He is a hard worker, funny, charismatic and has so many sides and depth to him that it is easy to choreograph and work with him. I enjoy every minute of our rehearsal because there is never a dull moment. We clicked right away, which is something I am so thankful for.
What are his strengths and weaknesses as a dancer and as a student?
His biggest strength is his ability to become the character a dance requires from him. He embraces the style, personality, and the story of the dance and makes it so much fun to watch. He is also a perfectionist, so he doesn't stop practicing until he gets it right, and that's the best quality one can ask for in a student.
Who do you think are the "ones to watch" this season on DWTS?
Definitely Hines and Kim. They have great moves and a huge NFL fan base. As well as Kirstie and Maks, and Mark and Chelsie. They all have great dance abilities and fun personalities.
Who do you think is going to find the process most challenging?
Everyone! This show has no time off. It's all about what you put in is what you are going to get our if it. Sore muscles, exhaustion, and an intense schedule is just part of the game.
What are the top personality traits you have to have to be successful on Dancing With the Stars?
You have to be a hard worker, but more than that you have to have fun and let the audience see that. It is a show and it must be entertaining for people at home watching.
Do you have any unique or peculiar training techniques?
Every student is different, so as a teacher it is important to find out exactly what makes your partner tick. I do my best trying to learn about my partner as much as I can so I can give him exactly what he needs to look the best, feel the best, and have a blast while learning.
How do you stay in shape between seasons?
I have my own workout that is now a DVD called Shape Up With Karina Smirnoff. It's intense and very effective. Also I teach a lot at my dance studio in Woodland Hills, Karina Smirnoff Dance.
Any wardrobe malfunctions or funny practice stories you can tell us about from this season or a previous season?
My funniest malfunction was during season four on the show, when a wig that I wore was supposed to come off at the end of the dance with Billy Ray and it didn't! So we had a "de-scalping" experience on national TV.
What celebrity would you love to be paired up with on the next season of Dancing With the Stars?
Hard question, especially since I think Ralph should just do every season with me. But since he can't, I'd love to see Corbin Blue or John Stamos dancing by my side.