A chat with Karina Smirnoff

By Tyson Joines
Nonstop Fashion Writer

Karina Smirnoff, the reigning champion of “Dancing with the Stars” recently brought her DanceFIT Tour to Hawaii, holding classes at Marriott resorts on four islands to show how to get a dancer’s body in four weeks. The dance fitness classes were incorporated from her popular DVD, “Shape Up with Karina Smirnoff.”

On the last day of her visit, I had a chance to sit down with the veteran DWTS star about her time in Hawaii and her dream dance partners.

What have you enjoyed most about Hawaii so far?

Everything! The people are so warm and friendly, and I really really like the food.

What have you noticed about fashion in Hawaii?

People definitely dress for comfort. When I go out, I like to get dressed up, so when I went to this restaurant called Mala on Maui, people were looking at me like, “Oh she MUST be a tourist.'”

You are coming up on your 11th season of DWTS. That’s quite a bit of wardrobe changes. Who comes up with the ideas and designs for your outfits?

I do. I design all the outfits for myself and my partner on the show. Sometimes we have up to three dances per week, which can lead to dozens and dozens of outfits over the course of the season.

Who are some of your favorite designers?

I really like comfort, sexy and sophisticated clothes, so for me that’s Zac Posen. I also really like what Tom Ford did for Gucci. Huge fan of YSL for bags and shoes.

Do you have a favorite contestant that you’ve worked with on the show?

You know, I don’t really have a favorite. They’ve each been such wonderful partners, and have brought something different into my life. Some contestants I talk to more regularly then others, like Ralph Macchio and JR Martinez. They will definitely be lifetime friends.

Is there anyone you haven’t gotten to work with yet, that you would like to?

I’m actually a really big fan of Corbin Bleu from “High School Musical.” I think he’s a great dancer and a great guy. Ryan Gosling wouldn’t be so bad either. A girl can dream right?

You’ve come in the quarterfinals, semifinals, and this past season, you finally took the title. What was that moment like for you?

It’s everything you ever could have hoped for and so much more. It’s something you dream about finally becoming a reality.

Do you have anyone special in your life at the moment?

You know, I’ve been so busy promoting DanceFIT, my shoe line, and all of these other endorsements, I really don’t have time to date right now. I still believe in love and I still believe in Prince Charming. I just hope he didn’t lose the horse he’s suppose to ride in on.

Karina Smirnoff

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— Photo by Dallas Nagata White

Photos by Dallas Nagata White