Karina Smirnoff (born Karina Smirnova January 2, 1978) is a Ukrainian professional ballroom dancer. She is best known for her appearances on Dancing with the Stars, where she held a runner-up title, a semi-final title, and several quarter-final titles. Smirnoff finally became the champion professional partner in the thirteenth season, when she was partnered with army veteran and soap opera star J.R. Martinez. 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. 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. She is featured in a nude pictorial in the May 2011 American issue of Playboy magazine.